A total of 200 local authorities across Britain are holding elections on Thursday May 5, with every London council seat up for grabs.
Many of the contested seats were up for election four or five years ago when Theresa May was Prime Minister and Jeremy Corbyn was Labor leader.
With a very different political landscape this time around, the election will be a verdict on Boris Johnson and Sir Keir Starmer, taking into account issues such as Covid-19 and the cost of living.
The votes will also reflect the views of Londoners on local councils’ attempts to make the city greener, cleaner and more liveable with active travel measures such as cycle lanes and low-traffic areas.
There are several tips to watch, including Barnet, Labour’s main target in London for the third election in a row.
The party narrowly failed to gain control in 2014, while 2018 saw the council tilt further towards the Conservatives. Labor must win nine seats to form a majority.
Wandsworth is another long-time Labor target, and here the party managed to increase its number of councilors in 2014 and 2018.
In Hillingdon, which contains the Prime Minister’s constituency and has been Tory-controlled since 2006, Labor is also hoping to make gains.
Likewise in Westminster, held by the Tories continuously since its inception in 1964, the end result could be a tight one.
Here is a short guide to the 2022 local elections in London.
Can I still register to vote?
If you are not yet registered on the electoral lists, it is now too late for the elections on May 5.
But you can still register for the next elections.
The deadline has also passed to vote by mail or by proxy.
How to vote?
Ballots are now sent out to let people know which polling station they should vote at.
You can only vote at the location of the polling station on your map, but you do not need the map to vote (i.e. if you have lost the map or forget to bring with you to the polling station, you can still vote).
Then just follow the instructions on the ballot. For Covid reasons, people are advised to bring their own pen or pencil and wear a face covering.
When can I vote?
Polling stations will be open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday, May 5.
If you vote by mail, you can do so immediately.
Voters who chose to vote by mail must return their mail-in ballot by 10 p.m.
They can return it to their polling station if they did not mail it back.
Can I vote if I have Covid?
If a voter self-isolates or becomes ill due to Covid, they have until 5 p.m. on Election Day to request an emergency proxy vote.
This allows them to nominate someone they trust to vote on their behalf.
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London Local Elections 2022: How and where to vote – Reuters News in France and abroad