Multiple local elections in the UK today
Voters go to the polls today in the United Kingdom to vote in a wide range of regional and local elections. Across the whole country people will be voting for:
Three of 36 Metropolitan Boroughs vote for the full council (all three are currently controlled by the centre-left Labour Party) whilst 32 of the remaining 36 are voting for a third of the seats on the council, 26 of which are currently controlled by the Labour Party.
Three Unitary authorities, Bristol, Peterborough and Warrington are voting for all their seats with two held by Labour and one by the centre-right Conservative Party. A further 16 Unitary authorities have one third of their seats up for election, eleven of which are controlled by Labour and three by the Conservatives.
There are 12 District Councils with all their seats up for election, seven with half the seats contested and a further 51 authorities where one third of the seats are to be elected today.
There are Mayoral elections in London as well as Bristol, Liverpool and Salford. London is currently Cnservative controlled but is expected to go Labour if the opinion polls are correct. There are 25 seats up in the London Assembly.
A further 40 areas across England and Wales will see Police and Crime Commissioners elected.
In Wales all 60 seats for the National Assembly of Wales will be contested. Currently Labour hold 30 seats with the Conservatives on 12 seats, Plaid Cymru (a regional left-wing nationalist party) have 11 seats and the centre-left Liberal Democrats have five seats.
In Northern Ireland the 108 seats of the Northern Ireland Assembly will be elected. Currently the right-wing and British unionist Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) have 38 seats whilst the left-wing Irish republicanism Sinn Féin have 29 seats. The Irish nationalist and centre-left Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) have 14 seats and the centre-right British Unionist Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) have 13 seats. There are two smaller parties represented in the current Assembly.
In Scotland all 129 seats in the Scottish Parliament are up for grabs with the centre-left to left-wing Scottish National Party (SNP) holding 69 seats and expected to do even better today. Labour are second at the moment with 37 seats whilst the Conservatives hold 15 seats, the Liberal Democrats have five seats and the Scottish Greens hold two seats with one Independent.
If that isn’t enough for election aficionados then there are also two by-elections for the United Kingdom parliament. Ogmore in South Wales will vote for a new member of parliament after the Labour MP resigned. Labour took 52.9% of the vote in the 2015 general election. Meanwhile in Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough in northern England voters will be voting to replace Harry Harpham who died on 4th February. Again Labour had a comfortable 56.6% of the vote in the 2015 general election.
Things to look out for today; a drop in the number of seats for Labour. Although they are the main opposition in the UK parliament and should be benefitting from the turmoil in the Conservative party over the European Referendum, their left-wing leader has not gone down well with the electorate at large and Labour did well in this round of elections last time.
The Conservatives might just have a good day in Scotland with polling suggesting that they are slightly ahead of Labour, but the SNP are expected to win comfortably. In London Labour are expected to win as current Mayor Boris Johnson stands down. The campaign has been unpleasant and marred by accusations of racism and anti-Semitism.
The United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) might also do well today.