Metropolitan Borough Council of Rochdale elections from 1973 to 2016


A total of 60 Metropolitan Borough Council Wards held elections in Rochdale between 1973 and 2016. The database holds elections for 33 separate years over the 44 year period. Rochdale held partial council elections with a proportion of seats elected on different years. Unlike whole council elections, this method allows for a gradual change in the composition of the authority. As a result, these councils can appear to be less volatile than those with whole council elections.


Average participation in Rochdale over the 44 years was 39.26%. This was 1.16 percentage points higher than the average for all Metropolitan Borough Council Councils holding elections in the same year (38.10%). Turnout was higher than the average for Metropolitan Borough Council councils in 1992 when it was 7.94 percentage points higher. Turnout was lower than the average for Metropolitan Borough Council councils in 2003 when it was 5.88 percentage points lower.

The Party System

This section examines the party system in Rochdale that existed in terms of number of seats won by each group in each election. In the analysis below, a party is considered to have won an election for the authority if it wins more seats than any other group. The extent to which a single party group wins all of the elections during the period is a measure of the dominance of a single party.

Labour candidates won more seats than the other candidates in over half of elections held between 1973 and 2016. These candidates won the most seats in 24 of the 33 elections held. After Labour candidates, the next most successful group over the 44 years were Liberal Democrat candidates. These candidates won the most seats in 6 of the 33 elections held.

Number of Years Party Won Most Seats

Party NameNumber of Years
Liberal Democrat6

Party Winning Most Seats by Year

LabourConservativeConservativeConservativeLabourLabourLiberal DemocratLabourLabour
LabourLabourLabourLabourLabourLabourLiberal DemocratLabourLabour
LabourLabourLabourLabourLabourLabourLabourLiberal DemocratLiberal Democrat
Liberal DemocratLiberal DemocratLiberal DemocratLabourLabourLabourLabourLabourLabour
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