|2 May 2013 2017 →|
An election to Essex County Council took place on 2 May 2013 as part of the United Kingdom local elections, 2013. 75 councillors were elected from 70 electoral divisions, which returned either one or two county councillors each by first-past-the-post voting for a four-year term of office. The electoral divisions were the same as those used at the previous election in 2009. No elections were held in Thurrock or Southend-on-Sea, which are unitary authorities outside the area covered by the County Council.
All locally registered electors (British, Irish, Commonwealth and European Union citizens) who were aged 18 or over on Thursday 2 May 2013 were entitled to vote in the local elections. Those who were temporarily away from their ordinary address (for example, away working, on holiday, in student accommodation or in hospital) were also entitled to vote in the local elections, although those who had moved abroad and registered as overseas electors cannot vote in the local elections. It is possible to register to vote at more than one address (such as a university student who had a term-time address and lives at home during holidays) at the discretion of the local Electoral Register Office, but it remains an offence to vote more than once in the same local government election.
The election saw the Conservative Party retain overall control of the council, but their majority fell from twenty-two to four councillors. UKIP, Labour and the Liberal Democrats all won nine seats. Of the three second-placed parties who won nine seats, UKIP gained the largest share of the county-wide vote, more than 10% ahead of the Labour party. The Liberal Democrats remain as the official Opposition (entitling them to certain expenses and rights to additional speeches) due to incumbency, despite winning fewer votes. The Green Party gained two seats on the Council, despite its overall share of the vote falling. The Independent Loughton Residents Association and the Canvey Island Independent Party both returned one member and an Independent candidate was also elected.