POLITICS
05/02/2021 10:31 GMT | Updated 05/02/2021 10:37 GMT

Local Elections To Go Ahead In May But Voters Must Bring Their Own Pen

Boris Johnson's government confirmed council and mayoral elections will take place following delays due to the pandemic.

Elections for mayors and councillors are set to go ahead on May 6 – but voters must bring their own pen and maintain social distancing. 

The news, confirmed by the Cabinet Office on Friday, means a bumper set of council and city mayor elections on what is being branded “Super Thursday”. 

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the elections will be unlike any others that went before. 

Voters will have to wear masks inside polling stations and bring their own pen or pencil to mark their ballot. 

It comes as the coronavirus vaccine programme is rolled out across the UK, with the government aiming to have offered inoculation to vulnerable groups by spring. 

The scale of Super Thursday means every voter in Britain will be able to take part in at least one type of poll, making it the biggest event of its kind outside a general election.

It will be seen as a quasi-referendum on how Boris Johnson’s Conservatives have handled the coronavirus crisis, with many in the party hoping for a “vaccine bounce”. 

PA
Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street to attend Prime Minister's Questions at the Houses of Parliament, London. Picture date: Wednesday February 3, 2021.

The vote also represents the first big electoral test for Labour since Keir Starmer took over from Jeremy Corbyn in April. 

In London, Labour’s Sadiq Khan will face Tory Sean Bailey to be re-elected as mayor. There will also be elections to the assembly, which were originally due to take place last year.

And across the rest of England, voters will be choosing a mixture of councillors, local mayors, regional mayors and police commissioners.

Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP are expected place a second Scottish referendum at the centre of her party’s campaign for re-election in Holyrood and voters in Wales will also be choosing new assembly members. But a decision on whether these will go ahead will be made by the devolved administrations.