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.