This is everything you need to know about council elections 2019

By Conor Matchett
Tuesday, 30 April, 2019, 08:19
Polling stations will open on 2 May for the local council elections (Photo: Shutterstock)

Voters across the country will be given the chance to change the people who represent them on councils on Thursday 2 May at the local government elections.

An estimated 8,804 councillors are expected to be elected across more than 250 local councils in England and Northern Ireland.

There are no elections in Wales and Scotland who elected their councillors in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

What will I be voting on?

This depends on where you are in the UK, with differences from place to place.

In Northern Ireland all councillors on all 11 of the councils will be up for re-election, with newly elected councillors given responsibility over planning, waste management and leisure and community services.

In England, not all parts of the country have elections, with some councils only electing a third of their councillors in 2019.

Thirty-three of the metropolitan boroughs, places such as Bradford, Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester will elect, will see a third of their councillors up for re-election.

In 30 towns and regions, entire unitary councils - who are responsible for all local government services - are up for re-election. This includes York, Luton, Blackpool and Nottingham.

There are also 121 non-metropolitan district councils which will see all of their councillors up for re-election, with 47 others elected a third of their members.

These districts do not have as much power as a county council or a unitary council, but still make important decisions surrounding planning and community services.

Places such as East Cambridgeshire, Eastbourne, Preston and Lancaster fall into this category.

There are also six mayoral elections including in Mansfield and Bedford where people will elect a mayor to represent their area.

These elections, regardless of where you are, will not affect your MP or who the Prime Minister is.

You can find out which councils are due to have elections here.

What will it mean?

Local elections are used by some voters to express displeasure with the UK government and vote based on national policies.

However, new councillors will not have any power to change national policy.

The Conservative party are expected to take a hard hit across the country due to their handling of Brexit, but local council elections are very hard to predict and often hinge on local issues or complaints.

Where and when can I vote?

If you are registered to vote you will be sent a polling card in the post which will give you the location of your nearest polling station which is usually a school, church, or community centre.

Polling stations will open across the country at 7am and will close at 10pm, with anyone in the queue to vote still able to.

In most places you will only need to provide your name and address to vote, however some councils are trialling voter ID systems where you may be asked to provide photo ID such as a passport or driving licence.

Can I still register to vote?

Yes, but not in time for these elections. The date for registering to vote so you can take part in the local elections this year has already passed.

However, you can register to vote at any time of the year and you do not need to register before every election.

Once you have done it once, you only need to do it again if you move house.

You can register to vote here: gov.uk/register-to-vote