In Essex there are 75 county council seats up for election on Thursday 2 May. Essex County Council has been Conservative-controlled since 1997 and currently has an overall majority of 43.
The Conservatives currently have 59 councillors, the Liberal Democrats have 11, Labour 2 with 2 Independents. There is one vacancy.
Electorate in December 2012: 1,082,688
No party other than the Conservatives has had an overall majority at Essex County Hall since local government re-organisation in 1973. One party needs at least 38 councillors for an overall majority.
There are no elections in Southend-on-Sea or Thurrock because these areas have Unitary councils instead of the two-tier system of the county council and a district council that is used in the rest of Essex.
In the last county council elections in 2009 this was how the votes were shared between the parties with a comparison with 2005:
- CONSERVATIVE - 43.3% (down 1.2%)
- LIBERAL DEMOCRATS - 20.2% (down 2.7%)
- LABOUR - 10.8% (down 13.6%)
- BNP - 8.9%
- GREEN - 6.8% (up 1.2%)
- UKIP - 2.5%
- OTHERS - 7.6%
These were the ten most marginal electoral divisions in Essex at the 2009 County Council election:
- Brentwood South - LD majority over Con of 7 (0.1%)
- Drury - Con majority over LD of 19 (0.3%)
- Stansted - Con majority over LD of 97 (1.5%)
- Maypole - LD majority over Lab of 118 (2.8%)
- Canvey Island East - Ind majority over Con of 170 (3.3%)
- Basildon Laindon Park & Fryerns - Con majority over Lab of 255 (3.5%)
- Basildon Westley Heights - Con majority over LD of 257 (4.6%)
- Basildon Pitsea - Con majority over Lab of 410 (4.9%)
- Brentwood North - LD majority over Con of 301 (5.1%)
- Canvey Island West - Con majority over Ind of 293 (6.5%)
These majorities are based on the top two parties involved in the election although some are two-member divisions.
Polling station are open from 7am until 10pm on Thursday 2 May 2013. The votes are being counted after polls close and the results will be declare during the early hours of Friday 3 May.