Everything you need to know about the local elections in the North West in May 2021

Voters across our region will go to the polls on in May - to take part in what is being dubbed as 'super Thursday'.

The largest and most complex set of elections set are due to take place as elections have been suspended for more than a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The pause means those headed to the ballot box will vote in not just 2021's polls, but 2020 too.

Voters across the North West will be choosing from hundreds of local councillors, Police & Crime Commissioners and a host of different types of Mayors.

Special Covid measures will be put in place at polling stations and candidates will need to maintain social distancing during the election campaign.

In some areas, voters could be faced with up to seven different ballots papers with additional elections for parish councils or local planning referendums.

Polling stations will be open between 7am to 10pm.

The election involves 25 non-county North West councils.

Labour is defending 20, while the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have none to defend in these elections.

A total of five councils are under No Overall Control, three are run by Labour minority administrations (Burnley, Stockport, Wirral), one by a Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition (Pendle) and one (Bolton) is under minority Conservative rule.

In the County councils, the Conservatives are defending Lancashire.


  • Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire Constabulary.

  • 84 county councillors elected to cover all the electoral divisions in the 12 Lancashire district areas.

  • Blackburn with Darwen will vote for representatives for Blackburn with Darwen Council as well as voting in Parish Council elections.

  • Blackpool Council will be holding elections for the role of councillor in the Highfield and Norbreck wards, as well as District Local Elections in Burnley, Chorley, Hyndburn, Pendle, Rossendale and West Lancs.

Cheshire West and Chester

  • Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire Constabulary.

  • Local by-elections for Frodsham and Neston.

  • Parish and town council elections in Barrow, Frodsham Lakes Town Council, Frodsham Waterside Town Council, Malpas Parish Council, Moulton Parish Council and Northwich Town Council - Northwich Winnington and Castle Ward.

Cheshire East

  • Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire Constabulary.

  • Cheshire East Borough Council elections for the Crew West ward.

  • Town and parish elections in Crew West, Bollington - Central and East Ward, Knutsford - Bexton and Nether Ward, Macclesfield - Central Ward, Middlewich- Cledford Ward, Pickmere, Wilmsow-Lacry Green Ward, Handforth - West Ward and Haslington - Village ward.

  • A small number of planning referendums will also take place on the same day.


  • Greater Manchester Combined Authority Mayoral Election (role includes Police and Crime Commissioner for Greater Manchester Police). 

  • Local Council elections - 34 local councillors elected in Manchester and there are also two councillor vacancies, one in the Brooklands ward and one in the Openshaw ward of the City of Manchester.


  • Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside Police.

  • Combined Authority Mayor for the Liverpool City Region.

  • Liverpool City Council Mayoral election.

  • Local elections are being held in all 30 wards of Liverpool.

  • There are two councillor vacancies in Liverpool, one in Croxteth and the other in Warbeck and West Derby.

  • The lists can be overwhelming even for the most seasoned political expert, so who better to explain it all than the world's most famous temporary parish council clerk - Jackie Weaver.

There will special measures in place during the election to reduce the risk of infection during the coronavirus outbreak.

It is expected that more people will apply for postal votes although polling stations will be open as normal on Thursday 6 May.

At polling stations, voters will need to wear face coverings and social distance measures will be in place along with hand sanitisers.

It is also advised they should bring their own pens or pencils to mark ballot papers.

You need to be registered to vote before you can taken part in any election. If you are not registered because, for instance, you have moved recently you can register on the government website, or with your local council.

You can also apply for someone you trust to vote on your behalf by proxy. You have to apply for a proxy vote by Tuesday 20 April but because of the pandemic there will be emergency measures for people who test positive for coronavirus or are forced to self-isolate.

In that circumstance, an emergency proxy can be appointed up to 5pm on polling day.

Although the checking or verification of the votes will begin immediately after polling stations close, it is expected it will take several days before all the results are known.