Voters are going to the polls for local elections in England, Wales and Scotland – and to elect mayors in London, Liverpool and Salford. More than 4,700 seats are up for grabs on 128 English councils, most of which were last contested in 2008. Every seat on Scotland’s 32 unitary authorities is up for election and the make-up of 21 unitary authorities in Wales will also be decided. Referendums on whether to elect a mayor are being held in 10 English cities.
Polling stations opened at 0700 BST and close at 2200, with the first council results expected to come in during the early hours of Friday. Some councils, however, will not begin counting votes until normal business hours on Friday – meaning the results may not be known until the evening. Rain is predicted across much of Wales and southern and central England, with Scotland and northern England remaining largely dry.
Contests are being held in 36 metropolitan councils – with a third of seats being fought in cities such as Birmingham, Bradford, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Sheffield. Elections are also being held for 74 shire district councils and 18 unitary district councils. In Scotland, every seat on the country’s 32 unitary authorities – including Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen – is being contested.