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London Elections 2022: Who can vote & where is my closest polling station?

T

he local ward elections will take place this May, at a turbulent time for the Conservative Party.

Boris Johnson’s party has received a number of criticisms as it deals with the cost of living crisis and the fallout from the No10 partygate scandal.

A total of 1,817 seats across London’s boroughs are up for grabs – as Labour seeks to dominate Tory-held seats in Wandsworth and Barnet as well as defending stronghold boroughs such as Croydon.

Here’s all you need to know before you make your choice of local representative:

When are the 2022 local elections?

Voters had to register by the deadline ahead of next month to be able to elect their chosen local candidate.

You had to register online or by post by Thursday April 14 in England to be eligible to cast your vote.

Thursday May 5, 2022 is polling day with stations will open from 7am to 10pm. If you are queueing at 10pm you will still be admitted entry to vote.

Who can vote?

You must be registered, 18 years old or over and living in the area to vote in any local elections.

Residents with multiple addresses, like students with different term-time accommodation, may be registered to vote at more than one location – unlike in parliamentary elections.

English residents from the EU and Commonwealth are also eligible to cast their ballots.

Many prisoners are not allowed to vote, unless on remand or people released on licence.

How to vote?

You do not need your poll card – which will be sent to each voter with information on your local polling station – on the day, but it will speed up the process.

Ballot papers will be handed to you on entrance to your polling station and with a list of candidates standing in the election in your area.

Large print sample ballot papers and tactile voting devices are available to help those with a visual impairment.

Instructions vary across elections so read the paper carefully – in this election you may choose as many candidates as there are seats available, according to the Electoral Commission.

You may also vote by post if you apply in advance.

The deadline for postal voter registration was Tuesday April 19 at 5pm.

How do London’s boroughs work?

Each of London’s 32 boroughs are divided into wards for which voters can make their choice on the councillors for each seat.

A councillor will sit for four years.

In 27 boroughs the council leader is determined by the party group with the most overall council seats.

The five other boroughs – Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Lewisham, Newham, and, from May 2022, Croydon – have their local council leader chosen directly by voters in an executive mayoral system.

How do I vote if I have Covid?

Electors have until 5pm on polling day to apply for an emergency proxy vote.

This means you can choose a close relative to vote on your behalf, as long as you are already registered to vote.

The form can be found on the Electoral Commission site here – but it must be returned to your borough’s electoral registration office.

This option is also available for those with valid reasons such as a disability.

How do I see the results?

The London Councils website will show the results across London. The full results for your ward and borough can be viewed on your local council website. The Standard will cover the election results live.

How can I find out my closest polling station?

You can find out your closest polling station here: https://wheredoivote.co.uk/

You don’t need your poll card to vote and must vote at your assigned polling station.

If you are registered to vote, but you don’t have your poll card, you can go to the polling station and give them your name and address.

In England, Wales and Scotland, you don’t need any form of ID. In Northern Ireland, you must bring photo ID.

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