Who can vote in local elections 2022 – are you eligible?

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Local elections this year will give some UK residents the opportunity to reshape their regional councils and authorities. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be anxiously waiting to discover if recent events in Downing Street have harmed his Conservative Party’s dominance throughout so-called “red wall” Labour Party strongholds, while Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP are expected to romp to victory in Scotland.

When are the local elections?

Polling day is pencilled in for this Thursday (May 5) with stations open from 7am to 10pm, though if you are queuing at 10pm you will still be admitted entry to vote.

Who can vote?

To take part and vote British residents needed to have inked their registration before the middle of last month.

In England, you have to be aged 18 or older, while in Scotland and Wales 16-year-olds and above can vote.

Eligibility rules state you must also be living in the area to vote in any local elections.

Anyone with more than one address, including students with different term-time accommodation, may be registered to vote at more than one location, unlike in parliamentary elections.

EU or Commonwealth citizens who live in the UK can vote in England, while any foreign citizen lawfully living in Scotland and Wales has the chance to take part in the polls.

Many prisoners are not allowed to vote, unless on remand or they have been released on licence.

Local schools, churches and leisure centres are typically where voting stations are placed and you will be given a ballot paper on your arrival.

In some circumstances, for example if you have Covid, you can apply for an emergency proxy vote. For this type of ballot a nominated person can vote on your behalf.

Across England, more than 4,350 seats will be contested in 140 plus councils.

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Elsewhere, all of the councils in Scotland (32) and Wales (22) will also be holding elections.

The votes will give residents the power to decide who will be responsible in their local area for planning issues, housing and rubbish collections.

They will also have input on national matters such as the cost of living crisis and the Government’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Analysts will be paying close attention to the election results to gauge the national mood ahead of the next general election in 2024.

The results are expected to come through in the early hours and throughout the day this Friday (May 6), but some councils are also likely to declare on Saturday (May 7).

In England, around half of the councils are expected to begin their vote counts overnight on Thursday, with the remaining councils starting on Friday morning.

While in Scotland and Wales, the counts will not begin until Friday, with the earliest results not expected until that afternoon.

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