Elections 2021: Guide to ‘Super Thursday’ as Britain heads to the polls

5 May 2021, 07:57 | Updated: 5 May 2021, 15:55

Voters across Great Britain will go to the polls on May 6
Voters across Great Britain will go to the polls on May 6. Picture: PA

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Voters across Great Britain will go to the polls on May 6 on what has been dubbed "Super Thursday".

Local elections are taking place across England, as well as parliamentary elections in Scotland and Wales.

Here’s our guide to the elections that are taking place:

Hartlepool by-election

The contest to elect Hartlepool's next MP is a key test for Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.

The party held the seat in 2019 with a majority of 3,595 as the "red wall" across the north crumbled, handing Boris Johnson the keys to No 10.

The by-election will give an indication of whether Sir Keir has been able to reverse the process that has seen Labour's heartlands disappear.

Bookmakers have made the Tories odd-on favourites to secure the seat, a rare feat for a governing party.

As in a general election, the first-past-the-post system is used - whoever gets the most votes wins the seat.

READ MORE: Hartlepool by-election: All you need to know as Tories receive boost in the polls


In London, Labour's Sadiq Khan is the bookies' favourite to retain City Hall.

Voters choose the mayor using the supplementary vote system, picking a first and a second preference.

If a candidate receives more than half of all the first choice votes they are elected.

If this does not happen, the two candidates with the most first choice votes go through to another round.

READ MORE: London Mayoral Election: Who are the candidates?

WATCH: LBC quizzes candidates for Mayor of London

Voters in the capital will also elect 25 London Assembly Members using the additional member system, a form of proportional representation also used in the Scottish and Welsh parliamentary elections.

English mayors

Regional mayors will be elected for Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, Greater Manchester, the Liverpool City Region, Tees Valley, West Midlands, West of England and - for the first time - West Yorkshire.

High-profile names seeking re-election include Labour's Andy Burnham in Greater Manchester and Tory Andy Street in the West Midlands.

Five local mayors are also due to be elected on May 6, for the local authorities of Bristol, Doncaster, Liverpool, North Tyneside and Salford.

Like the London mayoral contest, the supplementary vote system is used.

Local elections

There will be 21 county councils holding elections, along with 28 unitary authorities, 59 district councils and 35 of the 36 metropolitan boroughs (the one exception is Birmingham, where elections will take place in 2022).

All use the first-past-the-post system.

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections

PCCs will be elected in all areas of England apart from London, Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire, where these powers are held by the directly-elected mayor.

A total of 39 commissioners will be chosen across England and Wales using the supplementary vote system.

Scottish Parliament

Voters in Scotland will elect 129 MSPs in a crucial contest which will indicate how much support the SNP has for a fresh vote on independence.

People will cast two ballots under the additional member system, electing both constituency and regional MSPs.

Votes for the individual candidates in the 73 constituencies are counted first.

Then 56 regional MSPs - split across eight regions - are elected using a formula aimed at ensuring the total number of seats a party gets across a region is similar to the percentage of votes it receives.

Welsh Parliament

Labour has run Wales since devolution and Mark Drakeford hopes to maintain the party's grip on the Senedd.

The additional member system is used to elect 40 constituency and 20 regional members.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Rishi Sunak has warned the stabbing of Salman Rushdie should act as a "a wake-up call for the West"

Salman Rushdie stabbing should be a 'wake up call for the West' says Sunak, as he calls for sanctions on Iran

A dog show has come under fire for going ahead in the blistering 35C heat

Dog show slammed for going ahead during 35C heatwave despite RSPCA health warning

Plaid Cymru leader calls for MP Jonathan Edwards to resign after assaulting wife

Plaid Cymru leader calls for MP to 'resign immediately' after receiving police caution for assaulting wife

Firefighters found an unexploded WW2 bomb whilst tackling a huge wildfire sparked by disposable BBQ in Dorset

Firefighters find unexploded WW2 bomb whilst tackling huge blaze sparked by disposable BBQ

JK Rowling has said she is working with the police after receiving a death threat

'You are next': JK Rowling receives death threat after supporting stabbed author Salman Rushdie

Hundreds of households have been without water amid the blistering heat.

Hundreds of households without water as blistering heat set to reach 35C before thunderstorms batter UK

The stage hit festival-goers at the Medusa Festival near Valencia.

One killed and dozens injured after stage at Spanish music festival crashes down in 'strong wind'

Mick Lynch, general secretary of the RMT, has faced criticism for his remarks.

Mick Lynch suggests EU influence and Ukrainians 'playing with Nazi imagery' provoked Russian invasion

Train strikes are set to grind the country to a halt on Saturday.

Major travel disruption across UK as train drivers strike over pay - find out the services affected

Britney Spears still married her husband Sam Asghari despite ex-husband Jason Alexander (right) attempting to "crash" it in an Instagram live.

Britney Spears' ex-husband jailed for trying to crash her wedding to Sam Asghari

Salman Rushdie was attacked on stage. The suspect was named by police as 24-year-old Hadi Matar from New Jersey.

Salman Rushdie on ventilator and may lose eye after being stabbed as man, 24, denies attempted murder

The Mar-a-Lago Estate, owned by Donald Trump, lies at the water's edge in Palm Beach, Florida.

Donald Trump being investigated under Espionage Act, unsealed search warrant reveals

Anne Heche has died a week after the crash in LA

'We have lost a bright light': Hollywood actress Anne Heche dies aged 53 after LA car crash

The incidents took place in Skye and Dornie

Man appears in court charged with Isle of Skye murder and three attempted murders including his wife

Heritage Railway staff tell Thomas the Tank Engine fans told to refer to the Fat Controller as Sir Topham Hatt

Thomas the Tank Engine fans told to refer to the Fat Controller as Sir Topham Hatt

Mayor of London 'seriously concerned' about possible flash floods next week

Mayor of London 'seriously concerned' about possible flash floods in London