For most people in the Anglia region polling day on Thursday 7 May will mean they have two votes. Not only will they be electing a Member of Parliament to serve at Westminster but in most areas of the region they will also be electing one or more councillors to their local council.
Local elections run on a four-year cycle and this is the biggest set of elections on that regular rotation. The last time this huge set of local elections coincided with a General Election was in 1979.
It’s one reason the General Election result is expected to be delayed into the early hours of Friday 8 May. The votes for the two sets of elections are collected in the same ballot boxes and need to be sorted and verified before counting can start on the votes for MPs. The votes for the General Election will be counted during the early hours with a separate count of the votes for councillors later in the day on Friday.
There are elections for 56 local district, city and borough councils across the Anglia region. In some areas only one third of councillors will be up for election but in most places there’s a vote for all the councillors on the council. In all more than 1,700 councillors will be elected across the Anglia region on 7 May.
There is one election for an elected mayor. Bedford Borough is the only place in the Anglia region to have an elected mayor who runs the council alongside councillors.
Of the 56 councils with elections in the Anglia region, most are run by the Conservatives and a few by Labour.
There are some councils where no party has overall control because they don’t have a majority over all the other parties. These councils are sometimes run by a minority administration or various parties make an arrangement to work together in formal or informal coalition.