Local and mayoral elections 2021 – When are they, how can I vote, which councils are taking part and how does it work?

Welcome to The Sun's Elections 2021 live blog, covering everything from your local council vote to the mayoral elections in cities up and down the country.

With covid dominating the past 12 months, many Brits will be using these elections to have their say on how they feel local officials have performed, as well as trying to send a signal to Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer.

This blog will be your rolling 24/7 guide to all the latest news and updates from this year's local elections so make sure you're bookmarking this page and regularly checking back for the very latest news and updates.

Read our Elections 2021 live blog below for the very latest news…

  • Hana Carter

    COUNT BINFACE: WHO IS HE AND IS HE RUNNING?

    Count Binface, who was previously known as Lord Buckethead, is running for Mayor of London this year.

    But who is Count Binface and could he actually become Mayor of London?

    Count Binface claims to be the "Lord Buckethead you're looking for" on his Twitter.

    The unlikely candidate went up against Boris Johnson in 2019 and Theresa May in 2017.

    He has a Go Fund Me page where he has raised £5,342 so far.

    He said: "My name is Count Binface, intergalactic space warrior and democracy-lover.

    "I challenged Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the 2019 election and secured a glorious 69 votes against him.

    "Yes that's right, I experienced an unexpected 69 with Boris in an Uxbridge sports hall on Friday 13th at 4am under a full moon.

    "Before that took on Theresa May in my previous guise as Lord Buckethead. And now I'm running to be the next mayor of the Earth Capital, London."

  • Hana Carter

    WHEN IS THE LONDON MAYORAL ELECTION?

    The mayoral election was scheduled to be held on May 7, 2020, but it was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    Instead, it is now due to be take place on Thursday, May 6, 2021.

    It will be held simultaneously with other local elections across England – as well as for the London Assembly.

    The last London mayoral election was held back in 2016, when Sadiq Khan stormed ahead with 44.2 per cent of the votes and was elected.

  • Hana Carter

    SADIQ KHAN'S MANIFESTO

    Labour's candidate for the mayoral office is focusing on what he sees as five key areas based around the slogan "building a brighter future".

    • Jobs – "supporting businesses and banging the drum for investment"
    • Green policies – "tackling toxic air pollution and the climate emergency"
    • Housing crisis – "record numbers of council homes and rent controls"
    • Getting tough on crime and its causes – "more police officers and opportunities for young Londoners"
    • Rejecting government cuts – "to TfL, the Met Police and local councils"
    • Hana Carter

      SADIQ'S RISE TO POWER

      Khan was born at St George's Hospital in Tooting to a working-class Sunni Muslim family.

      His father Amanullah and mother Sehrun arrived in London from Pakistan in 1968, and worked in the capital as a bus driver and seamstress.

      Khan was the fifth of eight children, and says he was industrious from his early years, inspired by his parents who were "working all the time".

      He and his siblings grew up in a three-bedroom council flat on the Henry Prince Estate in Earlsfield.

      Khan attended Fircroft Primary School and then Ernest Bevin School, a local comprehensive, and went on to study law at the University of North London.

      The Labour politician has served as London's mayor since 2016, taking over the capital's top job from Boris Johnson.

    • Hana Carter

      CAN I VOTE IF I LIVE OUTSIDE THE UK?

      You can vote by post or by proxy (someone to vote on your behalf).

      The postal vote application deadline was 5pm on Tuesday, April 20, 2021.

      The deadline to apply for voting by proxy in the May 6, 2021, Local Election is 5pm on Tuesday, April 27, 2021.

    • Hana Carter

      HOW CAN YOU VOTE BY POST IN THE 2021 ELECTION?

      You can choose whether you want a postal vote for a single election or permanently.

      The postal vote will arrive about 10 days before the election date.

      Once registered to vote by post, near the time of an election or referendum you will be sent a ballot paper which you complete and then send back.

      Though you are not voting in a booth, marking your vote should be done in secret and you should seal the envelope yourself.

      If you have registered to vote by post, your postal vote must arrive at your Electoral Office in the UK by 10pm on May 6, the day of the election.

      If it arrives after this time, your vote will not be counted.

      You should complete your ballot paper in secret, then put it in the envelope supplied and seal it tight.

      You must also remember to fill in and sign the accompanying postal voting statement.

      Put both items into the larger envelope and post it back to your local electoral registration office.

      If you have forgotten to post your ballot then you can take it to your polling station on the date of the election.

    • Hana Carter

      HOW DO YOU VOTE BY PROXY?

      Local elections are taking place in 143 councils across England on May 6, 2021.

      You can ask anyone to act as your proxy – as long as they’re registered to vote and allowed to vote in the local or General Elections.

      You can be a proxy for two people at the same election – or more if the extra people are close relatives.

      The deadline to apply for a proxy vote is Tuesday, April 27, 2021.

      Completed forms have to be sent to your local Electoral Registration Office.

    • Hana Carter

      GO NIKO

      Among the record-breaking 20 candidates who will take part is also YouTuber Niko Omilana.

      Niko Omilana was born in March 1998 in Staffordshire.

      The 23-year-old often posts videos of his pranks on his YouTube channel, which has over 3 million subscribers.

      His latest video that was posted on April, 3, 2021, where he opened a fake Starbucks as a prank, has over 2 million views.

      The 23-year-old announced his candidacy through his social media accounts.

    • Hana Carter

      KAM HE DO IT?

      Kam Balayev is a former lawyer and studied at Cambridge University.

      On his website, the Renew Party candidate said: “Kam was born in Baku in 1981 which is at the historic crossroads of the Ottoman, Persian and Russian empires.

      “These were turbulent times and whilst growing up he witnessed war, economic downturn as well as the boom times that followed the years of independence of Azerbaijan.”

      He worked at the Ministry of Justice in Baku as a lawyer.

      Kam has a graduate degree from Cambridge University in Criminal Justice sciences.

       

    • Claudia Aoraha

      FIND OUT IF THERE IS AN ELECTION WHERE YOU LIVE

      To find out if there is an election where you live, you can use this tool.

      All you need to do is enter your postcode to find contact details for the electoral services team at your local council.

      You can also find your polling station details.

    • Claudia Aoraha

      ELECTIONS ON MAY 6

      • Local council elections in England
      • Local and Combined Authority Mayoral elections
      • Mayor of London and London Assembly elections
      • Police and Crime Commissioner elections in England and Wales
      • Senedd Cymru/Welsh Parliamentary election
      • Scottish Parliamentary election

      GREEN PARTY’S SIAN BERRY STANDING FOR MAYOR FOR THIRD TIME

      The Greens’ co-leader will be standing once again as a 2021 mayoral candidate.

      Berry, 45, finished third behind Khan and his rival Zac Goldsmith in 2016.

      And she also stood in 2008, coming fourth.

      Berry intends to focus on the city’s housing crisis in her campaign.

      She said the Greens were the “only party Londoners can trust to deliver on their promises” with regard to housing.

      SADIQ KHAN’S MANIFESTO

      • Jobs – “Supporting businesses and banging the drum for investment”
      • Green policies – “Tackling toxic air pollution and the climate emergency”
      • Housing crisis – “Record numbers of council homes and rent controls”
      • Getting tough on crime and its causes – “More police officers and opportunities for young Londoners”
      • Rejecting government cuts – “To TfL, the Met Police and local councils”

      WHO IS CONSERVATIVE CANDIDATE SHAUN BAILEY?

      Tory candidate Shaun Bailey, 48, is the son of a lorry driver, whose grandfather came to Britain from Jamaica as part of the Windrush generation.

      Bailey joined the Army cadets while still a teenager and remained with them for another 10 years.

      In 2006, he co-founded MyGeneration, a charity for young people, which closed in 2012 due to financial problems.

      He attempted to be selected in a number of London constituencies in 2017, including Kensington, Croydon South and Uxbridge South and Ruislip.

      ELECTIONS ON MAY 6

      • Local council elections in England
      • Local and Combined Authority Mayoral elections
      • Mayor of London and London Assembly elections
      • Police and Crime Commissioner elections in England and Wales
      • Senedd Cymru/Welsh Parliamentary election
      • Scottish Parliamentary election
      • Claudia Aoraha

        BUILD '100,000 HOMES FOR £100,000' SAYS BAILEY

        Shaun Bailey tweeted: "Sadiq Khan promised to build 80,000 homes a year.

        "He has failed to deliver 40,000 homes in 5 years. Londoners need homes they can actually afford.

        "That's why, as Mayor, I'll build 100,000 homes for £100,000 each. Let's give London a fresh start."

      • Claudia Aoraha

        'PRANK' DEBATE TOMORROW

        YouTuber Max Fosh has challenged fellow mayoral candidate Laurence Fox to a debate on Wednesday, April 28.

        In a tweet, he wrote: "Hey @LozzaFox , come say this tomorrow at our debate. Reclaim Party HQ. 10am. Weds 28th".

      • Claudia Aoraha

        WHO IS STANDING IN MY AREA?

        Local elections scheduled take place last year in England and Wales were postponed when the coronavirus pandemic hit.

        Voters will now head to polling stations on Thursday, May 6 to have their say.

        Click here to find out who is standing in your area.

      • Claudia Aoraha

        WHO IS LONDON MAYORAL CANDIDATE NIKO OMILANA?

        Niko Omilana was born in March 1998 in Staffordshire.

        The 23-year-old often posts videos of his pranks on his YouTube channel, which has over 3 million subscribers.

        His latest video that was posted on April, 3, 2021, where he opened a fake Starbucks as a prank, has over 2 million views.

        The 23-year-old announced his candidacy through his social media accounts.

      • Claudia Aoraha

        OTHER CANDIDATES

        Meanwhile, fighting for the Green party once again is Sian Berry.

        The Greens' co-leader, 46, finished third behind Khan and his rival Zac Goldsmith in 2016.

        The Lib Dems have chosen Camden councillor Luisa Porritt as their candidate.

        For the Renew party, Kam Balayev has been selected.

        He has worked in the international law, global risk and transnational business.

        Count Binface is back and is standing as an independent candidate.

        Binface has previously challenged both Theresa May and Prime Minister Boris Johnson in general elections.

      • Claudia Aoraha

        WHO ARE THE CANDIDATES?

        Sadiq Khan is seeking a second term as Mayor after being re-selected as the Labour candidate in 2018

        But even as a favourite fighting for re-election in Labour-dominated London, he has a fight on his hands.

        While widely praised for showing the capital as open and inclusive, his leadership has been marred by a perceived inability to tackle big issues such as transport infrastructure and knife crime.

        Khan is up against Shaun Bailey, who is the Conservative party's pick for the election.

        Bailey, 49, has attempted to be selected in a number of London constituencies in 2017, including Kensington, Croydon South and Uxbridge South and Ruislip.

      • Claudia Aoraha

        WHEN IS THE LONDON MAYORAL ELECTION?

        The mayoral election was scheduled to be held on May 7, 2020, but it was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

        Instead, it is now due to be take place on Thursday, May 6, 2021.

        It will be held simultaneously with other local elections across England – as well as for the London Assembly.

        The last London mayoral election was held back in 2016, when Sadiq Khan stormed ahead with 44.2 per cent of the votes and was elected.

      • Chiara Fiorillo

        HEALTHCARE IN SCOTLAND

        Nicola Sturgeon said that, if re-elected, the SNP will make sure that half of all spending on frontline NHS care will go to GPs and community services.

        Scottish Labour's proposals include a catch-up plan for cancer screenings as well as having mental health workers in every GP practice in the nation.

        The Scottish Liberal Democrats also pledged to make improvements for mental health services and cutting waiting times.

        The Scottish Conservatives pledged an additional £2bn of additional support for the NHS, while the Scottish Greens said they will allocate 10 per cent of frontline health spending on mental health by 2026.

        Other topics which may be discussed during the April 27 debate include education, housing, employment and environment.

      • Chiara Fiorillo

        SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE TO BE DISCUSSED TONIGHT

        Scottish independence is set to be one of the topics of the debate as it has been discussed widely during the election campaign.

        Nicola Sturgeon has called for a second independence referendum, saying: "Scotland’s future must, and will, be decided by the people of Scotland."

        Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross, however, launched his manifesto for the upcoming Holyrood elections with a pledge to "rebuild Scotland" – but block a second vote on independence.

      • Chiara Fiorillo

        SCOTTISH GREENS COULD DOUBLE THEIR SEATS

        The survey of 1,037 Scots last week suggests the Greens could almost double their seats from six to 11.

        The poll suggests half of all voters plan to vote SNP in their constituency vote while 35 per cent intend to do so on the regional list ballot paper, which the polling suggests would give them 67 seats.

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