MILLIONS of voters across Britain are heading to the polls today to cast their ballots in this year’s local elections.
Thousands of council seats are up for grabs across England, Scotland and Wales – while Northern Ireland is also electing a new assembly.
Boris Johnson leaves his local polling station with dog Dilyn[/caption]
Sir Keir Starmer with wife Victoria leaving his polling station[/caption]
Boris Johnson and Sir Keir Starmer were up early this morning to rally supporters to back their party at the ballot box.
And their armies of activists were out hammering on doors at the crack of dawn in a last-gasp heave to rake in every possible vote.
Polling stations close at 10pm before volunteers toil through the night counting the votes – here are the key elections and timings.
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More than 4,350 council seats are being contested across 140 local authorities in England.
All of Scotland’s 32 councils and all 22 councils in Wales are also being fought.
Councillors run your local services including bin collections and public spaces – but crucially also decide the amount of council tax you pay.
The results also paint a picture of how the main parties are performing nationally.
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Mr Johnson and Sir Keir will be nervously waiting to see how they fare in the first nationwide votes since the cost of living crisis, Ukraine and Partygate.
After polls close the results will trickle in throughout the night and into Friday – here are the ones to look out for.
MIDNIGHT – 3AM
- Sunderland – Tories hoping to deprive Labour of the majority its held since 1974
- Bolton – Ultra-tight race, with Labour hoping to flip the council red
- Hartlepool – Conservatives trying to stay the largest party in Red Wall territory
- Croydon – Labour ran the council into bankruptcy, and the Tories are looking to boot them out
- Amber Valley – An ultimate bellwether Boris and Sir Keir will be using as an indicator of the national picture
- Peterborough – Victor also often reflects general election winner
Nicola Sturgeon and her husband at the polling station in Scotland[/caption]
Another polling day pooch[/caption]
3AM – 5AM
- Westminster – Labour hoping to cause historic upset in traditional Tory stronghold
- Hull – Lib Dems hoping to capture the council from Labour
- Dudley – A Tory council being eyed up by Labour
- Southampton – Boris Johnson visited yesterday to fend off Labour offensive
5AM – 9AM
- Wandsworth – Labour want to seize the Tories’ crown jewel in London
- Barnet – Another London seat Sir Keir Starmer wants to steal
- Derby – Labour hoping to regain seats lost to Tories in 2018
9AM – 2PM
- Scotland – First results come in from Scotland
- Newcastle-under-Lyme – Tory-Labour toss-up both parties want to win
- St Albans – Tories hope to steal the council from the Lib Dems
- Somerset – both Tories and Lib Dems trying to take this new council
- Bury – All 51 council seats are up for grabs as Labour hope to beat Tories in key battleground
- Wokingham – Blue Wall seat where the Tories are trying to fend off a blitz from the Lib Dems
- Glasgow – SNP trying to capture city council for the first time
Some areas are also voting for local mayors, with all results due Friday.
- Hackney – midday
- Newham – 1pm
- Lewisham – 1pm
- Watford– 1pm
- South Yorkshire – 4pm
- Tower Hamlets – 5pm
- Croydon – 22.30
Voters in Northern Ireland are also voting in assembly elections to decide their representatives for the devolved parliament.
Polling predicts Sinn Fein – the nationalists who want a united Ireland and have historic links to the IRA – to win the most seats.
It would mean there could be a Sinn Fein first minister for the first time in history.
But under peace-keeping power-sharing arrangements the leader of the second largest party – which will be a unionist – will be their deputy.
The results for the 90 newly elected members should all be declared by Saturday.
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