Large parts of England and Northern Ireland will be able to vote for their future local councillors today. While London is exempt from the local elections, 8,425 council seats across the country will be up for grabs. All of Northern Ireland’s 11 local councils will be holding elections as will 248 of England’s 343 local authorities.
This year’s elections in England are split as follows:
– 33 metropolitan district councils electing by thirds
– 116 district councils holding whole council elections
– 53 district councils electing by thirds
– 30 unitary authorities holding whole council elections
What time do the polls open?
Polling stations will be open today from 7am until 10pm, which gives you plenty of time to vote.
Polling stations are usually located in public buildings like schools or local halls.
To check your local polling station click HERE.
When you get to the polling station, give your name and address to the staff inside upon arrival.
You do not have to take your poll card with you and you will be given a ballot paper containing a list of the people, parties or the options you can vote for.
Results will be counted after the polls close, and the first round of results are expected by midnight tonight.
Will the Tories be wiped out?
As the local political landscape currently stands, the Tories are in power in most places.
The Tories currently control more than half of the councils in England and Northern Ireland, while 67 are controlled by Labour.
However, the Conservative Party looks likely to suffer huge losses at a local authority level, according to predictions.
The Tories could lose up to 1,000 council seats as voters remain home in protest against the Government’s Brexit failures.
The Conservative party’s chief executive and treasurer Sir Mick Davis is also understood to be in “complete despair” because Remain and Leave donors are refusing to fund party operations and the Tories are out of money.
In a private warning, it is understood he told one donor he had been “deserted by both Remain and Leave donors and therefore I am unable to run CCHQ and ensure we are capable of fighting and winning [elections]”.
The Sunday Express has also spoken to a major donor who has withheld a promised seven-figure pledge to party coffers because of the failure to deliver a clean Brexit by the government.
Conservative Party chairman Brandon Lewis appealed to voters to remember that the local elections are about community services and not Brexit.
He told the Sunday Express: “I know many voters will feel as though as a country we have been voting in elections and referendums and debating politics endlessly over the past few years, but a vote for who you want to run your local council really does make a difference.
“If you want to keep things like weekly bin collections, roads being fixed, fly-tipping being stamped out and your council tax down, you need to go out and vote for them – and vote Conservative on Thursday.”
But a senior party member told the Sunday Express that “even before the problems with Brexit we calculated we will lose more than 1,000 [remaining] seats.”
How Britons vote in today’s local elections will be a valuable indicator as to how the UK could vote in the upcoming European elections.