Voters to get their say on Covid-19 and Brexit handling at bumper set of elections

Millions of people will head to the polls in May.
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The voting will include a number of contests postponed from 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Across England voters will be choosing a mixture of councillors, local mayors, regional mayors and police commissioners.

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The highest-profile race locally will be Andy Burnham's attempt to be re-elected as Greater Manchester's first citizen, a role which also includes the powers of the police and crime commissioner.

It will be a bumper 'Super Thursday' set of elections in MayIt will be a bumper 'Super Thursday' set of elections in May
It will be a bumper 'Super Thursday' set of elections in May

Wiganers will also go to the polls to elect ward councillors.

The 2020 elections were postponed for 12 months due to Covid-19 and more elected representatives are coming to the end of their current stint in the chamber this May.

As usual a number of high-profile local politicians will once more face the voters, while the Conservatives will be seeking to continue holding James Grundy's Lowton East seat following his successful bid to become Leigh's MP in December 2019.

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The scale of “Super Thursday” means that every voter in Great Britain will be able to take part in at least one type of poll, making it the biggest event of its kind outside a general election.

It will also be the first big electoral test for Sir Keir Starmer since he became Labour leader in April 2020, and for Prime Minister Boris Johnson since his general election victory in December 2019.

While neighbourhood issues will play a part in deciding many local seats, Covid-19 and Brexit are likely to dominate some of the bigger campaigns.

This year’s unusually large crop of elections comes after a period in which Covid-19 put the nation’s ballot boxes in deep storage.

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Aside from a handful of council by-elections in Scotland in October and November, no polls have been held anywhere in the UK since March 2020 – a gap unprecedented in modern history.

Barring further delays due to Covid-19, all the scheduled elections should be held on May 6:

As well as Mr Burnham's race for re-election in Greater Manchester, regional mayors, also known as combined authority mayors - will be elected for Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, the Liverpool City Region, Tees Valley, West Midlands, West of England and – for the first time – West Yorkshire.

Five local mayors are also due to be elected on May 6, for the local authorities of Bristol, Doncaster, Liverpool, North Tyneside and Salford.

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A large number of local elections will take place across England. All 24 county councils will be holding elections, along with an expected 28 unitary authorities, 62 district councils and 35 of the 36 metropolitan boroughs (the one is exception is Birmingham, where elections will take place in 2022).

Finally, there are more than 200 council seats that have fallen vacant since the pandemic began, for which by-elections have yet to be held. Most of these are expected to take place on May 6, further adding to the enormous number of polls due on “Super Thursday”.

In Wigan there is a vacant seat in Orrell ward after Conservative councillor Richard Clayton died last May.

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