Local elections 2024 explained: When are they, what are the key issues and when the results will be announced

29 April 2024, 16:29 | Updated: 29 April 2024, 16:30

Local elections will take place Thursday 2 May.
Local elections will take place Thursday 2 May. Picture: Alamy

By Jenny Medlicott

Every voter in England and Wales will be able to cast a ballot in at least one type of election on May 2 - here's everything you need to know.

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Elections are taking place in 107 authorities across England, where nearly 2,700 council seats are up for grabs and 37 police and crime commissioners across England and Wales will also be chosen.

Additionally, voters will also be able to choose the Mayor of London, London Assembly members, and 10 other mayors.

There will be no elections in Scotland or Northern Ireland.

So as voters prepare to go to polling stations on May 2 - here’s everything you need to know.

How to find out if there’s a local election in your area

You can enter your postcode on the electoral commission site to find out if there is a local election in your area - click here to be redirected.

What do local councils do?

Different local councils are responsible for providing a variety of public services, including:

  • rubbish collection
  • maintaining and repairing roads
  • social care
  • housing

What are the different types of councils?

Each type of council has different responsibilities.

  • Town or parish councils are responsible for local issues, such as providing play areas and community centres
  • District councils are responsible issues such as rubbish collection and council tax collection
  • County councils are in charge of providing services across the whole of the country, such as road maintenance, transport and education
  • Unitary authorities provide all of the above-listed local government services

Read more: Everything you need to know about photo ID to vote in the local elections

Voters must bring an accepted form of photo ID with them to the polling station.
Voters must bring an accepted form of photo ID with them to the polling station. Picture: Alamy

Who are the local election candidates?

Councillors are elected for a four-year team to represent their ward,

Some 2,700 council seats will be up for grabs across 107 of England’s 317 councils.

Labour and the Conservatives are defending around just under 1,000 each.

What do police and crime commissioners do?

England and Wales are divided into 39 police force areas, each of which has its own unique police and crime commissioner (PCC).

They do not run the forces, but are ultimately responsible for setting budgets, cutting crime and holding officers to account at the force they oversee.

PCCs were introduced in 2012 and are elected every four years, there will be 37 up for election on Thursday.

Mayoral elections

The London Mayor represents the 8.9 million people living in the capital and is responsible for transport (TfL) among other issues, such as roads and policing.

Outside of London, there will be mayoral elections in nine ‘metro areas’.

Directly elected mayors have devolved powers over issues such as the local economy and transport infrastructure.

There are six mayors in total across the combined authority regions.

For the first time, mayors will also be chosen in the East Midlands, the North East, and York and North Yorkshire.

The results will be announced overnight into Friday 3 May.
The results will be announced overnight into Friday 3 May. Picture: Alamy

Greater London Authority

Voters will also be able to vote for two of the 25 members of the London Assembly on Thursday, one representing their area and a second from a city-wide list.

Their main role is to scrutinise the mayor and their executive team’s work.

Do you need photo ID to vote?

As of May 2023, every voter must bring an accepted form of photo identification in order to vote in most elections.

These elections include:

  • UK general elections
  • all local elections in England, including those for mayors and the London Assembly
  • all local referendums and parliamentary by-elections in England
  • police and crime commissioner elections in England and Wales

What are the accepted forms of photo ID?

There are 22 forms of accepted photo ID, these include:

  • driving licenses
  • passports
  • oyster 60+ bus cards
  • older or disabled person’s bus passes

When will the election results be out?

Polls close at 10pm on Thursday.

The local election results will begin to be announced overnight into Friday 3 May, carrying on into the day.

Some will also be announced over the weekend.

Mayoral results will be revealed on Friday and Saturday.