Of the 230 councils up for election this May, 85 are Conservative majority-run – but our new research has revealed that the Tories won 64 of these councils with less than 50% of the popular vote.

Compass calls these councils ‘tragedy councils’ because greater collaboration between progressive parties in these areas could have prevented the Conservatives from seizing control in a large number of them.

Take a look at the data with our interactive map below:

This research confirms our fears – and our plan.

Labour and other progressive parties will hope to use the local elections this May to take councillors from the Tories and show they are building momentum towards the general election, likely to be held next year.

But a strong Labour lead in the polls is no guarantee of success; as our research shows, an unpopular Conservative Party doesn’t always lead to progressive wins.

We know our crooked first-past-the-post (FPTP) voting system punishes the fractured progressive vote and too often hands victory to the Tories against the wishes of the majority.

Competition between progressive parties lets the single right wing candidate through over and over again, and a lack of coordinated tactical voting further compounds this problem.

But while our research reveals a huge democratic deficit, it also presents a huge opportunity for progressives ahead of the local elections.

If our progressive parties and their supporters can work together, we can begin to practise a more hopeful way of doing politics – one where we don’t divide while the Conservatives conquer.

Progressive parties standing aside in favour of the best-placed candidate to beat the Tories  – or just campaigning more appropriately – has been shown to work in many councils across the country.

Of the councils facing re-election in May, 31 are progressive partnerships or coalitions.

Progressives in these councils are collaborating with one another to keep the Conservatives out of power, and Compass activists are working tirelessly to make sure the local elections produce more of these vital cooperative arrangements.

Compass has more than 30 active local groups across the country, and all are performing critically important roles in brining our progressive parties together and encouraging them to work towards the common aim of getting progressives into power.

The Mirror exclusively published our tragedy councils research over the weekend with a rallying call for progressives to unite and oust the Conservatives from power.

You can read the piece here.

Compared to the Right, Labour, Lib Dem and Green candidates agree on so much – that’s why it’s madness that they compete with one another and let the real enemy win,” Neal Lawson, Director of Compass, told the Mirror.

“At these next elections progressive candidates should stand where they are best placed to win and activists should go to their nearest marginal ward – that way we get the Tories out of councils now and send a signal that cooperation will win the general election too.”

Cross-party working must now take centre stage to create a winning coalition that can transform our politics. We must Win As One.

Join Compass to make it happen.