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Vote 2018: What To Look Out For In May's Elections
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Vote 2018: What To Look Out For In May's Elections

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On May 3rd, Voters will be heading over to polls for the first England-wide test of electoral opinion ever since the general election of last year.

Whilst there's no polls in Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales, there's no shortage of action in England. There's seats on around 150 councils that are readily available.

There's also a mix of metropolitan, borough, district and unitary councils. In some of these, all seats are ready for the grabbing, while in others, nearly a third are readily disputed.

The final time many of the chairs were disputed, in 2014, Labour did incredibly well, gaining authority of six councils and expanding their ranks to well over 300 councillors.

In comparison, Conservatives lost 236 positions and relinquished control of 11 councils. This consequently left Labour having more seats and councils to stand up for on this occasion. 

Key battlegrounds?

In the location where every borough council seat is readily available, London is becoming one of the biggest battlegrounds.

Hoping to build on its better-than-expected performance, Labour is clamping down on Conservatives in classic strongholds such as Hillingdon, Westminster and Wandsworth.

The place where the Conservatives ridded themselves of their significant majority, Barnet council, can be seen as especially under threat.

The consequential result in Kensington and Chelsea, wherein the Tories possess a 24-seat crowd, is expected to be closely looked at in the light of the complaints concerning the dealings with the Grenfell Tower fire and the frustration of a substantial amount of residents.

Labour, however, is expected to a grip on the majority of the councils that it already has possession of. Though Harrow's result, the place wherein it has the mass majority, is expected to provide an excellent indication of the popularity of the party.

In other London locations, Sutton are being defended by the Lib Dems - the single leftover council in the English capital. They have an ambition to make gains in other areas though, including in the Tory managed Kingston-upon-Thames.

How will Labour fair outside of London?

Standing in defence of around 75 local authorities, Labour is defending Manchester City Council which possesses around 93 of 94 seats. One of the only other representatives include the former Lib Dem MP John Leech of whom is a representative for Didsbury West.

Additional Labour strongholds that are contested include Sandwell, Sunderland, Liverpool and Birmingham, wherein Conservatives are expected to be taking advantage of the bin strike that recently occurred.

Perhaps a far greater indicator of Corbyn's prospects at a standard election might arise in the Midlands, the south and the east, wherein Labour is expected to take up seats if he is to move into Downing Street.

It has been reported by the BBC that Labour is targeting councils that are presently under no ultimate control where it's the biggest party, such as Newcastle-under-Lyme, Stockport, Walsall, North-East Lincolnshire and Dudley.

The expectations of the Conservatives?

Governing groups often struggle in elections during mid-term time. However, as the general election of last year demonstrated, politics is quite difficult at present and watchers shall be observing to spot if there's a "Brexit effect" in the locations that, in 2016, opted for Leave. Councils on which Conservatives are one of the largest parties and which possibly might be in their reach include Pendle, Basildon, Colchester and Portsmouth.

You can also keep an eye out for other results including Peterborough - a location where Conservatives are aspiring to recapture the control that they'd lost their grips on following a by-election that took place on the commencing day as last year's general elections.

The rest of the parties?

Inclusive of their Eastleigh and Cheltenham strongholds, the Lib Dems will be standing in defence of six councils, and it is expected that they will be improving on their 2014 showing - on an occasion in which they'd spent four years governing alongside the Tories.

And UKIP? Their can expect no different from their outcome four years ago.

Of the ones that are still in place, UKIP can expect the most terrible outcomes in towns including Basildon wherein they are standing up for around just 10 chairs.

The last district councillor of the BNP, Brian Parker, is standing for election in Pendle, Lancashire.

Who can vote?

You need to be registered to vote, and a minimum of 18 on the day of polling, a British resident and a Commonwealth, European Union or a British citizen.

How can I register to vote?

To participate in the vote, voters need to be registered by the midnight of Tuesday 17th April. You should register again if your address, name or nationality has changed. There's also the option to register for a postal vote - the deadline for this is Wednesday 5pm, April 18th. You can register to vote online, though you can also check to see if your name is already entered into the register.

Who isn't allowed to vote?

Anyone that has been found to be guilty of electoral corruption in the past five years, convicted prisoners and anyone person that has been subject to any legal inability to vote.

How can I vote?

If you've already been registered to vote you should have gained a polling card informing you of the location you should visit to make your vote. You don't have to take this card with you to make your vote. A form of identity isn't actually required. Contact the electoral services department at your local council if your polling card hasn't arrived.

Do I need photo ID?

You do not need photo ID, although the government has put on trial photo ID at a small amount of polling stations.

In Gosport, Bromley, Watford, Woking and Swindon, voters will be asked if they can provide ID. 

According to the BBC, the only area in which photo ID such as a bus pass or driving licence will be accepted is Woking. If you have no photo ID card you can make an application for a local electoral card which requires a passport sized photo, confirming your identity, signed by someone else.

In Swindon, if you do not have your ID, your polling card will be accepted.

In Bromley, two forms of ID, such as a birth certificate or bank statement will be accepted, as long as one of them have your address on it, as a photo ID alternative. The same applies to Gosport, where you can apply for an electoral identity letter.

Photo ID or a valid debit or credit card will be accepted in Watford.

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