Southwark residents will go to the polls on Thursday 5 May to decide whether Labour will maintain its strong majority in the local elections.
Labour has held a strong council majority in Southwark since 2014, winning 49 out of 63 seats at the 2018 local elections, although one seat in the Peckham ward is currently vacant after Labour Cllr Johnson Situ stepped down in November 2021.
The Liberal Democrats currently hold the remaining 14 seats, which are concentrated in the north of the borough in Borough & Bankside, London Bridge & West Bermondsey, North Bermondsey, St George’s, and Surrey Docks.
However, they could face a challenge in London Bridge & West Bermondsey, where Labour councillors were not far behind the Lib Dems in 2018, winning 41.3% and 42.2% of the vote compared to 43.2%, 43.6% and 45.6%.
Although they registered candidates for all the wards, Southwark Conservatives have been predominantly campaigning to retake Dulwich Village, where they lost their only two seats to Labour in 2018.
Labour and the Lib Dems have both pledged to build new council housing, with the latter pledging to buyback empty council housing and require 50% of private developments to be genuinely affordable housing.
In South Bermondsey, Labour Cllr Leo Pollak is standing for re-election, after quitting his role as the Cabinet Minister for Housing in February 2021 after it was revealed that he was running an anonymous Twitter account (@SouthwarkYIMBY) which criticised local campaigns to stop housing developments.
The Lib Dems accused Labour of backtracking on the proposed Bakerloo Line extension to Lewisham and suggesting instead a tram system and the expansion the Santander Bike scheme.
Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) have been a contentious issue in Southwark since they were introduced in 2020 and all the parties have committed to reducing traffic.
The Lib Dems say they will introduce a consultation guarantee to ensure that residents have a say in council decisions.
A Labour councillor for Herne Hill and Deputy Lambeth Mayor Pauline George told Dulwich and Herne Hill residents from Southwark and Lambeth boroughs that LTNs were “for their own good” at a hustings on 28 April, prompting criticism from other parties’ candidates.
How to vote
You must visit the polling station listed on your poll card, which you should have received by post if you are eligible to vote.
Voting for the local elections will be open from 7am to 10pm on Thursday.
There can be queues towards the end of the day, but you will still be able to vote if you joined the queue before 10pm.
You can search for your local polling station here.