Voting in local elections enters final stages
Voting in local and mayoral elections in England, Wales and Scotland is entering its final few hours.
A total of 4,851 council seats are up for grabs in 88 councils – all of those in Scotland and Wales, plus 34 in England, including 27 counties.
Six new “metro mayors” will be elected, covering areas including Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and the West of England.
Polling stations opened at 07:00 and will close at 22:00 BST.
Strict rules to ensure fairness between election candidates mean the BBC and other broadcasters are restricted to only factual reports of voting while the polls are open.
Some English and Welsh councils will begin counting ballots as soon as polls close – while others will start counting on Friday morning, with results being announced throughout Friday.
Scotland’s 32 councils will start their counts on Friday morning, with first results expected from midday. Most mayoral results will be declared on Friday.
In England (34 councils, 2,370 seats), this is a year of county council elections and there are also polls in six unitary authorities where county councils and district councils have merged.
For the first time, voters in Greater Manchester, the Liverpool City region, the West Midlands, Tees Valley, the West of England, and Cambridge and Peterborough will elect new “metro mayors” covering combined local authority areas.
Doncaster and North Tyneside are also voting for local authority mayors, who are elected leaders of their respective councils.
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