Citizens in England and Wales headed to the polls on Thursday for local and mayoral elections across the two British nations.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s handling of the Coronavirus pandemic and recent scandals may be key factors on a bumper election day where votes would cast for 143 local councils, 39 police and crime commissioners, and 15 mayoral races.
A British parliamentary by-election is also being held in the constituency of Hartlepool.
Separately, elections for the devolved parliaments in Scotland and Wales are also taking place.
The day has been referred to as “Super Thursday’’ in the British press.
Polls opened at 6 a.m. GMT and will close at 9 p.m. GMT.
Several of the elections were postponed from 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Hartlepool seat in England’s north-east has historically been held by the left-wing Labour party since the 1970s, but a recent opinion poll predicted win for the right-wing Conservative party.
Should the Conservatives prevail, analysts say it will indicate a nation feeling supportive towards Johnson in spite of rocky few months for the premier, with Britain’s vaccine success appearing paramount.
The result will however make no difference to his influence in the British parliament, where his party held the majority.
Votes are also being cast for London’s mayor, where Labour incumbent Sadiq Khan was predicted to win a second term.