Greater Lincolnshire

Local elections 2019: Voters head to the polls

Residents across Lincolnshire will be going to the polls today to decide who will represent them on local district, parish and town councils.

Thousands of people are registered across the Greater Lincolnshire area to vote and polling stations opened at 7am and close at 10pm.

If you need a reminder, you can find your local candidates here.

Who is up for election?

A total of 735 candidates across nine councils will be battling for 287 available seats.

Those contesting whole councils will be North Lincolnshire Council along with West Lindsey, East Lindsey, Boston Borough, South Holland, South Kesteven and North Kesteven councils.

North East Lincolnshire and the City of Lincoln Council both have a third of seats up for grabs.

At a lower tier, 36 seats are up for grabs at parish and town council level.

How many candidates are there for each party?

A historically true-blue Tory majority county, it will not be a surprise to see the Conservatives putting forward the most candidates, with a total of 288 to pick from.

Labour have put forward the second highest number of candidates competing with 191 names signed up, while in third place with a significant rise is Independents with 124.

Sticking with the Independents, this election has also seen some new groups crop up, with the Skegness Urban District Society candidates and four under the banner of Blue Revolution in Boston.

UKIP numbers this year have decreased dramatically, with just 27 candidates this time round.

Elsewhere, the Lib Dems will see 50 candidates fighting for seats, while the Greens have put forward 42.

Uncontested seats

Not all seats in this year’s election are being voted on, with 19 seats across 15 district wards going uncontested.

A total of 17 of those seats will be won by Conservatives.

Meanwhile, two seats in East Lindsey will be taken by Labour and an Independent councillor.

Uncontested seats means that a candidate is standing for election unchallenged.

The wards that go uncontested are usually sitting councillors who are standing for re-election.

In this case, no vote will be cast and the councillor will be reappointed to their position.

The total uncontested seats across Lincolnshire include three in North Kesteven District Council, four in West Lindsey, five each in East Lindsey and South Holland and two in South Kesteven.

The situation is even worse at parish and town levelwhere, of the 468 wards, 432 will see all their seats filled “uncontested”

How does Brexit factor into this?

Honestly? Councils at this level have little to no power over the national Brexit process. Despite this however, many candidates in the main stream parties are reporting feeling the effect of Central Government’s actions – or lack thereof.

Other parties, of course, say Tory and Labour candidates are trying to get sympathy and distance themselves from the issue with publicity stunts, but voters on the ground have been quite vocal that the debate will be a big factor in who they choose to vote for, if they even vote for any of the available names at all.

Many voters have taken to social media to proclaim they will spoil their ballot in protest in a bid to send a message to national MPs, though others have argued this could leave voters without true representation at a local level

It’s expected the topic will hit turnout and mainstream members hard – with one report saying one in five Conservative seats could be lost nationally – a total of 44 across Greater Lincolnshire if it proves accurate.

What are the other issues?

Our reporters have been speaking to residents across Lincolnshire and several issues have raised their heads.

Things like potholes and road repairs are county council issues, but many expect their representatives to shout up about the issue to their higher-tier counterparts.

Also on the agenda included public transport, safety in pedestrian areas and tackling pressure on local services.

Anti-social behaviour such as ‘drunkenness, litter and a rise in criminal activities’ topped a number of residents’ priorities.

Empty shops and more being done to promote town centres and protect them from closures and a rise in online shopping continued to check out among many.

  • Voting closes at 10pm and in many councils will be counted overnight. Results will be announced throughout the night and over the course of tomorrow (Friday) morning. Keep an eye on the Lincolnshire Reporter and Lincolnite for a round-up of results across Greater Lincolnshire.

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