Voting over and the counting begins in local elections

There are elections for nearly 500 councillors on 22 councils in the Anglia region.

ITV News Anglia's Political Correspondent Emma Hutchinson looks at what the local election results will mean for the political parties

The votes are being counted in 22 councils across the Anglia region in the biggest test of political opinion since the General Election.

There have also been elections for Police and Crime Commissioners, for the London Mayor, the Scottish Parliament and the Assemblies in Wales and Northern Ireland.

Labour did very well the last time these council seats were contested in 2012, they gained 58 seats across our region and won control of Harlow, Great Yarmouth and Norwich.

ITV elections expert Colin Rallings says therefore Labour will need "to run simply to stand still in these elections".

But Labour MPs in the region, Luton South MP Gavin Shuker and Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner, have predicted they could gain seats.

Watch out for how Labour do in Cambridge, Harlow and Norwich where they are defending small majorities on the councils.

Also Milton Keynes where Labour would need to gain seats to take control of the council. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn launched the Party's local election campaign in Milton Keynes in April.

The Conservatives have a working majority on 10 of the 22 councils with elections in the Anglia region.

The Conservatives run most of the councils in the East of England and currently have the most councillors.

The Conservatives will be hoping to take seats from Labour in places like Harlow, where the local MP Rob Halfon says he believes the campaign has been going well.

Also watch out for Peterborough, Southend and Basildon where the Conservatives would need to gain a few seats to take control of those councils.

In both Peterborough and Colchester there are boundary changes which means the whole council is up for election.

The Liberal Democrats have lost 287 councillors in the Anglia region since 2010.

The Liberal Democrats will be hoping for any signs of a revival in their fortunes at local government level in our region.

Being in coalition for five years cost them hundreds of councillors across the East who have lost their seats since 2010. The party, which used to claim with some justification, that it was the main opposition to the Conservatives in this region, will be hoping to start to make gains again.

They will hope to gain seats in Cambridge, where they used to run the council. Labour have a majority of 6 there.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage is hoping for big gains in council seats in the East of England.

UKIP believe the East of England is fertile territory for the party.

They have their only MP in Clacton and they have done well at local government elections in our region over the past few years.

They are hoping to do well in Thurrock in Essex and look out as well for Great Yarmouth where they already have 8 councillors.

The Green Party are the main opposition on Norwich City Council.

The Greens will hope to do well and gain seats in Norwich.

Their leader Natalie Bennett was on the campaign trail in the city while voting was going on during Wednesday. They are currently the main opposition group on the council with 14 seats.

  • Voters across the Anglia region were also electing Police and Crime Commissioner on Thursday but the votes won't be counted until Friday with the results expected to come in during the afternoon.