Colorful graphic depicting a polling place sign

Voters in parts of England and Wales will elect councilors, mayors and police commissioners on May 2.

These are the last local elections before the next general election.

Where will elections take place on May 2nd?

Elections are taking place in 107 local authorities across England.

In addition, voters across England and Wales will elect 37 Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs).

There are no elections in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

How can I vote in the May elections?

There are three ways to vote:

  • 18 years or older
  • are registered at an address in the area where they wish to vote
  • a British citizen, an Irish or EU citizen or eligible Commonwealth citizen
  • not legally excluded from voting

In some areas, voters have multiple ballots for the different elections taking place. Therefore, read the instructions carefully.

In local elections, voters generally have one vote for each available seat in an electoral area – called a ward or division. However, some large stations have multiple seats. As in a general election, whoever receives the most votes wins.

For the first time, mayors and police and crime commissioners will also be elected using the first-past-the-post system.

By when do I have to register to vote?

To vote in person in England and Wales you must be registered by 11:59pm BST on Tuesday 16 April.

The rules for voting by proxy have changed. If you applied for a proxy vote before October 31, 2023, it has expired and you must apply for a new one.

Do I need ID to vote?

Voters must show photo ID to vote in person. You do not need your voting slip.

There are 22 acceptable forms of ID, including passports and driver’s licenses.

What do local councils do and why are local elections important?

Local councils are responsible for many public services including:

  • Caring for older and disabled people
  • Repair potholes on some roads
  • collect garbage

Many local authorities are facing a funding crisis and have raised council taxes and cut services as a result. The anger over this could be reflected at the ballot box.

A fifth of English local authorities have admitted they could become insolvent in the next 18 months.

The crisis is a consequence of long-term cuts in municipal funding since 2010.

What do mayors do and where do mayoral elections take place?

Outside London, elections are taking place in nine metropolitan areas across England.

The West Midlands, Greater Manchester, Liverpool City, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and Tees Valley already have mayors.

Mayors will also be elected for the first time in the East Midlands, the North East and York and North Yorkshire.

Metro mayors lay out plans to boost their local economies and have certain powers over housing, transport and skills. If you include the Mayor of London, they control about £25 billion, which is 44% of England’s population.

Voters will also elect the Mayor of Salford, the directly elected leader of the city council.

What do Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) do and where do elections take place?

There are elections for 37 PCCs in England and Wales – but not in London, where the mayor holds this role.

PCCs oversee their local police and fire departments. In 2012, they replaced police authorities whose members were not directly elected.

What happened the last time elections were held in these municipalities?

Most of these council seats were last contested in May 2021, after the 2020 elections were postponed by a year due to the pandemic.

The vote took place in parallel with the other elections already scheduled for that day.

image source, BBC

The Conservatives made significant gains, finishing 235 seats ahead, while Labor lost 327 seats.

On the same day, the Tories ousted Hartlepool from Labor in a parliamentary by-election.

When will the May election results be announced?

Many local election results in England will be announced overnight until Friday, May 3, with the rest expected to follow later in the day.

Some mayoral results will not be announced until Saturday.

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