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Local elections 2021: when are they held, how many councils participate and how does the vote work?

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Local council elections are almost here after a year of delay due to the coronavirus.

The coronavirus emergency law passed by Parliament saw the election of local councilors, police and crime commissioners and the mayor of London (among others) delayed until May 6, 2021, with elected officials in function remaining in their posts for a further 12 months.

Due to the delay, May 6 will see the most seats to be elected since 1973.

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The coronavirus is expected to be the most important issue for voters in elections, despite key decisions on the pandemic being made at the national level. A survey by the University of Essex nevertheless found that 59% of respondents ranked the coronavirus as their priority problem.

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With over 5,000 seats to elect, here’s everything you need to know before Election Day.

When do the elections take place?

This year’s local elections will take place on Thursday, May 6. The polls will open at 7 a.m. and close at 10 p.m.

How many boards participate?

Elections will be held for 143 English local councils and around 48 million people will be able to vote for more than 5,000 seats.

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People will be able to vote for 13 directly elected mayors in areas such as Bristol, Greater Manchester, Liverpool area, West Yorkshire, Doncaster and Salford. This includes an election for the Mayor of London and for the 25 seats in the London Assembly.

A UK parliamentary by-election for the constituency of Hartlepool is scheduled for May 6. Police and crime commissioners will also be elected on that date.

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In addition, voters in Scotland and Wales will elect representatives to their decentralized parliaments – Holyrood in Scotland and the Senedd in Wales.

The last time that so many seats were up for election was in 1973, when the local government was reorganized.


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