Lewisham could become a 'one party state' following today's elections, a pressure group has warned.

One party states are defined as councils at least 75 per cent dominated by one party. Those which currently exist include the neighbouring councils of Greenwich, Bexley and Bromley.

And the Electoral Reform Society has now singled out Lewisham as one of 16 areas which could become a one party state after the local elections.

According to their predictions, 92 per cent of council seats could be taken by Labour in Lewisham, on less than a 50 per cent turnout.

Currently, 72 per cent of seats are taken by Labour, with most of the rest occupied by the Lib Dems.

Deputy chief executive of the Electoral Reform Society Darren Hughes,, said: "This week’s local elections should be a celebration of democracy, participation and choice. Instead, over three million more people will find themselves coming under the control of local authorities utterly dominated by one political party.

"If this dominance were a reflection of the votes cast on Thursday, then there wouldn’t be any problem. But the sad truth is that One Party States are almost never based on a popular mandate equal to the dominance of the party.

"Often One Party States become complacent owing to the lack of effective opposition. This can lead to poor government, which is ultimately bad for voters as it undermines the council’s ability to provide a good service for the community.

"We need to introduce a fairer voting system for local elections – one which gives voters the chance to be represented by candidates for whom they have actually voted. Local electoral reform would be good for voters, in that it would give them real choice.

"And it would be good for the quality of local democracy itself, making councils better scrutinised, more transparent and therefore more effective."