Swathes of the population will be voting for a variety of public roles, including councillors, mayors and assembly members. Express.co.uk has everything you need to know about what’s happening in your area and what you need to vote on Thursday, May 5.
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What is a local election?
Local elections in England, Wales and Scotland decide which political party takes control of a council area, or in some cases, no party will take overall control.
Councils dictate much of what happens in your local area, ranging from bin collections, potholes, planning issues and the general investment in your area.
Polling stations will be open from 7am today (May 5) to 10pm tonight.
Which areas are voting on May 5?
The following areas will be casting votes today:
Every local authority in Scotland, Wales and London.
South Yorkshire’s regional mayor and the borough councils of Barnsley and Sheffield.
60 district councils, 31 Metropolitan boroughs and 19 unitary authorities across the rest of England.
County councils in North Yorkshire and Somerset.
Local mayors in Croydon, Hackney, Lewisham, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Watford.
All 90 seats in the Northern Ireland assembly.
There is also a referendum in Bristol on whether to keep the city’s elected mayor.
Will there be an exit poll?
Unlike a general election, there are no exit polls for local elections.
When will the results be announced?
Once the polls close, ballot boxes are taken from stations to local or regional counting centres where staff count the votes.
Once all the votes in an area are counted, the returning officer will announce the results.
The first batch of results is likely to be revealed at midnight, with locations such as Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Essex, Greater Manchester and Bolton usually the quickest to count and announce the winners.
How do I find my polling station?
If you’ve registered to vote, you will be eligible to cast your vote if you live in one of the areas participating in the elections.
You can find your polling station via the Electoral Commission website.
You do not need to take your polling card or ID to vote.
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