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Who is standing in my local election? How to find candidates in your area and where your polling station is

Voters in England are heading to the polls today for a major round of local elections.

For the first time, it is compulsory for anybody voting to show photo ID when arriving at the polling station, under controversial new laws.

More than 8,000 council seats are up for grabs across 230 local authorities in the largest round of local polls since 2019, although many regions, such as London, will not be heading to the polls.

Who is standing in my local election?

The website has information on all the candidates standing in the local elections.

Enter your postcode into the site and you will be able to see profiles on all the candidates, as well as links to their party’s local social media pages, and ways to contact them.

It will also show you how the individual has done in past elections, if they have been in any.

You can also use the Electoral Commission website to find your candidates here, while most local council websites will also have information on candidates for the local elections.

To see if there is an election in your area today, enter your postcode into the Electoral Commission’s online checker here – you can also use this website to find out if you are currently registered to vote.

The elections are mostly taking place in rural areas, as well as in some urban areas of northern England.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2023/03/18: In this photo illustration, British passports with a leaflet showing that voters in England will need to show a photo ID to vote at polling stations in some elections. (Photo Illustration by Dinendra Haria/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
New voter ID rules are in effect for the local elections (Photo: SOPA/Getty Images)

Where is my polling station?

You should receive a polling card informing you where to vote. If you do have not received or have lost your polling card, you can find your local polling station by entering your postcode here.

You do not need to take your polling card with you on the day to vote.

You must vote at the polling station you are registered to, unless you applied for a postal vote, which you must do in advance.

Polling stations will be open from 7am until 10pm on Thursday 4 May, after which the votes will be counted.

However, you should still be allowed to vote in the elections as long as you join the queue before closing time.

Polling stations tend to be busiest before school and after work, so it’s worth bearing that in mind when you plan your trip.

For the first time ever, voters will be required to show ID to cast their ballot – you can see full details of what is classed as eligible identification here.

Local elections 2023

Each party is facing a different challenge in this set of elections. The Conservatives have seen an exodus of activists, leading them to turn to teenagers to beef up their resources. Labour hope they’ll cement their big poll lead, but if they don’t they could lose hope of a majority next year. The Lib Dems are hoping to take Eton and begin to pull apart the ‘blue wall’, writes Katy Balls, while the Green Party are hoping to take control of a council, and pave the way for a second MP.

Voter ID has been one of the most contentious issues leading up to this set of votes. The former head of the civil service told i that it was likely to be a ‘car crash’, and Tories have said they don’t know how many of their leaflets were sent out telling people they didn’t need ID to vote.

Here’s everything you need to know about local elections today:

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