Voting begins in local elections across England
Seven out of 10 people in England are heading to polls to vote on Thursday in local elections for more than two-thirds of English councils, News.Az reports citing Anadolu Agency.
More than 8,000 seats are being contested at 230 councils across England, excluding London and some western regions, as they were held in 2022.
All adults aged 18 and over, and who are British citizens, resident EU citizens, or "qualifying Commonwealth citizens," can vote in local elections.
Under the Elections Act 2022 became effective, for the first time in England, people will have to show a photo ID to vote in person before they can cast their ballot.
All seats will be contested in nine metropolitan boroughs, including the cities of Liverpool and Wolverhampton, 32 unitary authorities, with cities such as Nottingham, Derby, and York, as well as 105 district councils in much of the South East, East, and Midlands.
Meanwhile, a third of seats will be contested in 14 unitary authorities, 23 metropolitan boroughs, and 47 district councils.
After the May 2022 local elections, the Conservative Party held 37% of all council seats in England, down 2% from 2021, while the Labour Party won 31%, almost unchanged from the previous year, and the Liberal Democrats won 14% of seats.
The Conservatives have held the largest share of council seats in England since 2003.
The election focuses on the "red wall" in the midlands and north of England which are known as longstanding Labour constituencies that backed Brexit and were won by the Conservatives in the 2017 and 2019 elections, as well as "blue wall" seats in the south.
On May 18, elections will also take place for all 462 seats in all 11 local authorities in Northern Ireland.