LIVE: Latest updates from across Yorkshire and beyond as local election results roll in

Rishi Sunak has suffered a by-election drubbing and faces further pain in council contests across England.

Labour’s Chris Webb won the Blackpool South parliamentary seat with a swing of 26.33 per cent from the Tories and Sir Keir Starmer’s party also secured council wins in areas which will be key general election battlegrounds later this year.

Results are expected from across Yorkshire today, including in the tightly-contested Tees Valley mayor, where the imcumbent Ben Houchen will hope to hang on to his seat.

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The Tories avoided the humiliation of coming third in Blackpool South, but finished just 117 votes ahead of Reform UK.

Voters are heading to the polling station across Yorkshire and further afieldVoters are heading to the polling station across Yorkshire and further afield
Voters are heading to the polling station across Yorkshire and further afield

Out of the 107 councils where votes were held on Thursday, just 35 counted overnight – but the results make grim reading for the Prime Minister.

The Tories lost control of three authorities and 96 councillors lost their seats. Labour gained three authorities and 58 councillors.

Elections expert Professor Sir John Curtice said the Tories could be on course to lose 500 councillors in “one of the worst, if not the worst” performances by the party in 40 years.

Follow our live blow below for all the latest updates.

Local elections 2024 live

Welcome to our local elections live blog

Good morning and happy polling day. Welcome to our local elections live blog.

Voters across England and Wales are electing thousands of councillors, 11 mayors, including in London and Greater Manchester, as well as numerous police and crime commissioners. There’s also a Westminster by-election in Blackpool South which we’ll be keeping you abreast of.

Voters head to the polls. Credit: Yui Mok/PA WireVoters head to the polls. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Voters head to the polls. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire | Yui Mok/PA Wire

Find out if elections are going on in your area, and what happened last time, with our interactive map here. This will be updated as the results come in this evening, all the way through until Saturday night (wish me luck). We’ll be bringing you expert insight and analysis from all our reporters across the country.

Send any thoughts, opinions or photos of dogs at polling stations to [email protected].

This is one of the first elections across the UK which will require voters to bring photo ID with them. In April 2022 MPs passed a new law making voter ID mandatory. The move was highly controversial, with widespread concerns that many could find themselves disenfranchised because they do not own ID.

The introduction of voter ID was designed to prevent voter personation, the crime of impersonating someone else when voting. But the Electoral Reform Society says the crime is “vanishingly rare” – there were only three convictions and six cautions between 2015 and 2020, according to the Electoral Commission – and that photo ID is a “solution looking for a problem”.

To vote today voters will need to bring specific photo ID to vote. The ID does not need to be in date, but the photo will need to be a true likeness. It will be up to polling station clerks to judge whether your ID looks like you.

If you have any issues voting please contact us [email protected].

The full list is as follows:

  • A passport issued by the UK, any Channel Island, Isle of Man, a British Overseas Territory, a European Economic Area (EEA) state or a Commonwealth country
  • A driving licence issued by the UK, any Channel Island, Isle of Man, a British Overseas Territory, or a European Economic Area (EEA) state
  • A disabled person’s bus pass
  • An Oyster 60+ card
  • A freedom pass
  • A Scottish National Entitlement Card
  • A 60 and over Welsh concessionary travel card
  • A disabled person’s Welsh concessionary travel card
  • A senior smartpass issued in Northern Ireland
  • A registered blind smartpass or blind person’s smartpass issued in Northern Ireland
  • A War disablement smart pass issued in Northern Ireland
  • A 60+ smartpass issued in Northern Ireland
  • A 60+ smartpass issued in Northern Ireland
  • A half fare smartpass issued in Northern Ireland
  • An identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (a PASS card)
  • A biometric immigration document 
  • A Ministry of Defence form 90 (defence identity card)
  • A national identity card issued by an EEA state
  • An electoral identity card issued in Northern Ireland
  • An anonymous elector’s document

Timeline for tonight

The local election counts are not all declared overnight, like they are in a general election. Instead, they slowly roll in until Saturday evening. There are however a number of key races that will declare tonight:

  • 10pm polls close
  • 12.30am Broxbourne
  • 1.30am Hartlepool, Rochford, Sunderland
  • 2am Bolton, Gosport, Ipswich, Newcastle, North East Lincolnshire, South Tyneside, Wigan
  • 2.30am Chorley, Eastleigh, Exeter, Fareham, Hart, Oldham, Portsmouth, Rushmoor, Southend
  • 3am Blackpool South by-election, Harlow, Hull, Lincoln, Reading, Sefton, Tameside, Thurrock,
  • 3.30am Colchester, Gateshead, Redditch, Stockport
  • 4am Peterborough, Plymouth
  • 4.30am Southampton
  • 5.30am Winchester

Key races to watch tonight

The first result I’ll be looking out for tonight is Hartlepool, which should declare around 1.30am. It seems a lifetime ago, that the Conservatives won the Hartlepool by-election, when it appeared as if Boris Johnson was set to be in power for a decade. That was only three years ago - how times change.

Labour needs to win just four of the 12 seats up for grabs to win the majority off the Conservative-Independent coalition. Read my colleague Nic Marko’s excellent preview for the Hartlepool Mail for more information.

The results of the 2021 local elections, which are being fought tonight. Credit: Flourish/Kim MoggThe results of the 2021 local elections, which are being fought tonight. Credit: Flourish/Kim Mogg
The results of the 2021 local elections, which are being fought tonight. Credit: Flourish/Kim Mogg | Flourish/Kim Mogg

Bolton is the next race to look out for at 2am. Labour leads the authority with a minority administration, but will be looking to take full control. It’s worth keeping an eye on how the Reform UK candidates do. The pro-Brexit party is not standing in many council races, but it is in Bolton - and this could be a good barometer of its influence ahead of the general election.

For Labour to win a majority at the general election, it will be looking to make gains in Harlow at 3am and Redditch at 3.30am. These are two bellwethers to keep an eye on. For the Lib Dems, if Ed Davey’s party is on a really good night it could take Stockport, expected at around 3.30am.

West Midlands and Tees Valley are key races for Sunak

As well as the thousands of council seats up for grabs, there are 11 mayoral races, including in the capital London. The key ones for Rishi Sunak are in the West Midlands and Tees Valley, where high profile Tory mayors Andy Street and Ben Houchen are looking to be re-elected.

Given the national opinion polls and the fact that both areas were previously Labour strongholds, Keir Starmer’s party should really be winning both of these mayoralties. However, the incumbents have good name recognition, and are tipped to be re-elected.

The former John Lewis chief executive has held the West Midlands Mayoral post ever since the first election in 2017, successfully defending his position at the subsequent election in 2021.
He has previously said his focuses include creating new jobs and apprenticeships, delivering better transport and providing more homes.
He added that he wants to champion the region’s interests and promote pride in the West Midlands and all its communities.The former John Lewis chief executive has held the West Midlands Mayoral post ever since the first election in 2017, successfully defending his position at the subsequent election in 2021.
He has previously said his focuses include creating new jobs and apprenticeships, delivering better transport and providing more homes.
He added that he wants to champion the region’s interests and promote pride in the West Midlands and all its communities.
The former John Lewis chief executive has held the West Midlands Mayoral post ever since the first election in 2017, successfully defending his position at the subsequent election in 2021. He has previously said his focuses include creating new jobs and apprenticeships, delivering better transport and providing more homes. He added that he wants to champion the region’s interests and promote pride in the West Midlands and all its communities. | LDRS

If the Tories were to lose in the West Midlands and on Teesside, Sunak could be in trouble with the plotters in his own party. It is thought this may spur them on try and make their move and depose the Prime Minister ahead of the general election - so these two races could have implications beyond each region.

Tory MP doesn't have voter ID

In an ironic twist, Tom Hunt, the Conservative MP for Ipswich, who voted through the strict voter ID laws, has had to arrange for an emergency vote as he doesn’t have the right photographic identification. ITV’s Harry Horton broke the news. It’s another good reminder to take photo ID with you to the polling station.

Veteran Card to go on ID list as minister apologises to those unable to vote

The Government intends to make veterans’ ID cards a valid form of voter identification after former service personnel were turned away from polling stations, Downing Street said.

Veterans minister Johnny Mercer apologised to those who had been unable to use their veterans’ ID card to vote in the local elections on Thursday, vowing to “do all I can” to have it added to the list of valid identification.

A Number 10 spokeswoman said: “It is our intention for the new Veteran Card, which was rolled out in January, to be added to the official list.”

Polls have closed in the local, mayoral and PCC elections across England and Wales, as well as in the Blackpool by-election. I’m Ralph Blackburn, NationalWorld’s politics editor, and I’ll be keeping you company for the next few hours as the results slowly start to come in. We should soon get a bit of a gauge from the parties as to what their expectations are soon - I’ll bring you those comments as soon as we get them.

Did you have any problems with voter ID? Boris did

It might not surprise you to learn that Boris Johnson, the architect of the new voter ID laws, actually struggled to vote today. He was initially turned away from his polling station as he failed to bring any ID with him, Sky News reported. It’s understood Johnson eventually came back and was able to vote.

Former prime minister Boris Johnson at the Global Soft Power Summit last year. PIC: Jonathan Brady/PA WireFormer prime minister Boris Johnson at the Global Soft Power Summit last year. PIC: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Former prime minister Boris Johnson at the Global Soft Power Summit last year. PIC: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

I’d be keen to hear about your experiences of using voter ID. At my polling station in London, there was barely a glance at my driver’s licence before handing over the voting slips. If you had any issues email [email protected].

Is Labour worried about Sadiq Khan in London?

Less than two hours before polls closed, Labour activists in London received a text message urging them to vote as the party’s data showed the race to become mayor was “so close”. This came after Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting’s attack on Tory candidate Susan Hall shocked commentators, and raised the question that Keir Starmer’s party might be worried about holding the capital.

I would still expect Khan to win a third term as mayor, when the result is announced on Saturday - but these two things together perhaps show some jitters at Labour HQ.

Current Mayor of London and Labour party candidate Sadiq Khan, with his wife Saadiya Khan, leaves the polling station at St Alban's Church, south London, after casting his vote in the local and London Mayoral election. Current Mayor of London and Labour party candidate Sadiq Khan, with his wife Saadiya Khan, leaves the polling station at St Alban's Church, south London, after casting his vote in the local and London Mayoral election.
Current Mayor of London and Labour party candidate Sadiq Khan, with his wife Saadiya Khan, leaves the polling station at St Alban's Church, south London, after casting his vote in the local and London Mayoral election. | Yui Mok/PA Wire

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