LOCAL elections scheduled to take place last year in England and Wales were postponed when the coronavirus pandemic hit.
Voters are heading to polling stations today (Thursday, May 6, 2021) to have their say. Here's everything you need to know about the candidates.
? Read our Elections 2021 live blog for the very latest updates
Which local council and mayoral elections are taking place on May 6?
There are 343 councils in England, but not every authority will be holding elections.
This is because elections take place in four-year cycles, so different councils hold polls in varying years.
The Local Government Information Unit (LGIU) said that “with two years worth of elections, it’s going to be ‘Super Thursday’.”
It adds that in England, the 2021 elections include more than 150 local authority elections in hundreds of wards and divisions for both the delayed elections of 2020, plus the scheduled elections of 2021.
Votes will also be cast on:
- 143 English local councils- some 5,000 seat
- 13 directly elected mayors
- 39 police and crime commissioners
- 25 London Assembly seats
- 129 Scottish Parliament MSPs
- 60 Welsh Senedd MSs
- Neighbourhood Plan referenda
- Parish councils
There are about 5,000 council seats up for grabs across England.
The Welsh Government is also holding an election on May 6, 2021, and voters in Wales will cast their ballot for members of the Welsh Assembly and police and crime commissioners.
In Scotland, candidates are vying for 129 seats in the Scottish Parliament, also on May 6, 2021.
However, local government elections are not happening in Scotland until Thursday May 5, 2022.
There are no local elections taking place across Northern Ireland.
Who's standing for election in my area?
Thousands of candidates will be running for various post in the May 2021 elections.
To find out who is standing in your area, you can put your postcode into this website.
It will tell you if there are elections in your area – including the PCC ones – and it will provide a list of the candidates and the party they represent.
The Electoral Commission website tells you which council ward you live in and provides a list of all the people standing for election and which party they represent.
Some of the stand-out elections are:
London mayoral election
- Labour: Sadiq Khan is seeking a second term as Mayor after being re-selected as the Labour candidate in 2018. While widely praised for showing the capital as open and inclusive, his leadership has been marred by a perceived inability to tackle big issues such as transport infrastructure and knife crime.
- Conservative: Shaun Bailey attempted to be selected in a number of London constituencies in 2017, including Kensington, Croydon South and Uxbridge South and Ruislip. He joined the Army cadets while still a teenager and remained with them for another 10 years.
- Green: Sian Berry is once again fighting for the Greens. The party co-leader finished third behind Khan and his rival Zac Goldsmith in 2016.
- Lib Dem: Luisa Porritt is a Camden councillor who served as an MEP between 2019 and 2020 for the Lib Dems.
- Find details on the rest of the candidates here
A by-election in the UK parliamentary constituency of Hartlepool is to be held on May 6 following the resignation of the sitting MP Mike Hill.
The seat is considered to be in a set of constituencies known as the red wall, historically supported by Labour but where the party is increasingly being challenged by the Tories.
- Labour: Paul Williams, who served as MP for Stockton South from 2017 to 2019.
- Conservative: Jill Mortimer, a North Yorkshire councillor and farmer.
- Lib Dems: Andy Hagon, who stood for the party in the constituency in both the 2017 and 2019 elections.
- Northern Independence Party: Thelma Walker, the former Labour MP for Colne Valley.
Ultimate guide to Thursday’s local elections
SUPER Thursday will see millions of voters go to the polls for the first time in two years – with polling stations open across the country to elect the Scottish and Welsh Parliaments, councillors, mayors and even an MP. Here’s everything you need to know…
What time do polling stations open on Thursday, May 6?
What seats are up for election and how can I vote?
Local election candidates: Who is standing in my area 2021?
London Mayor candidates 2021: Who is standing?
Hartlepool by-election candidates: Who is standing to replace Mike Hill?
Scottish election 2021 candidates: Who is standing in my area?
Local election 2021 voting rules: Polling station Covid restrictions explained
When will the winners be announced?
How often are local elections held in the UK?
How do I vote?
As the postponed voting is taking place during the coronavirus pandemic, measures are in place "to protect against spread of disease and to overcome practical challenges," says the government.
Campaigning will be ongoing up until the elections on May 6, 2021.
Voters will continue to have access to three methods of voting:
- In person at a polling station
- By postal vote
- By proxy vote
The government adds: "We are changing the rules for proxy voting to ensure that anyone who is self-isolating can request a proxy vote at the last minute – up to 5pm on polling day itself.
"Voting in person will still be available for all those who would like to, and there will be no change to the hours of polling."
Voters are encouraged to bring their own pens or pencils.
The deadline to register to vote was Monday, April 19, 2021.
And to register for a postal vote, the deadline was:
- 5pm on April 20 in both Wales and England
- 5pm on April 6, in Scotland
The deadline to register for a proxy vote was 5pm on April 27.
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