Tomorrow is polling day for local elections

Tomorrow, Thursday 6 May 2021, is polling day in the Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Mayoral elections.

If you are voting in person be sure to check your poll card to find your polling station. Due to the pandemic a number of polling stations have changed this year including The Broadway on Dewsbury Road and Old Cockburn Sports Hall in Hunslet Moor. You can find your polling station by clicking here. Polling stations will be open from 7am-10pm.

Distancing measures will be in place meaning there could be queues and voters will be asked to wear a mask or face-covering if able to do so and use hand sanitiser as well as other safety measures. You may also wish to bring your own pen or pencil, though these will be provided at polling stations.

If you have registed to vote by post, but have not returned your ballot paper yet, these can be handed in at your local polling station. If you have not yet received your postal ballot pack  you should inform the council on (0113) 222 4411 or email, and a replacement can be issued if required.

A third of Councillors will be up for election, one in each ward in the city. In South Leeds Cllr Gohar Almass (Beeston & Holbeck) and Cllr Mohammed Iqbal (Hunslet & Riverside) will be contesting their seats. A new Councillor will be elected in Middleton Park ward as Cllr Judith Blake is standing down to take her seat in the House of Lords.

The creation of a directly Mayor for West Yorkshire is part of the devolution deal between the government and the five local authorities in West Yorkshire. The new Mayor will chair the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and replace the Police & Crime Commissioner.

As usual, the Council election will be ‘first past the post’ with each voter casting just one vote for their preferred candidate. The Mayoral election will use the ‘Supplementary Vote’ system with each voter casting votes for their first and second preference candidates. If no candidate gets an overall majority of first preference votes the two leading candidates go into the final round. To decide the winner, all votes for candidates which didn’t make it through to the final round are redistributed based on the second preference.

We’ve published full lists of the candidates on separate pages for Beeston & Holbeck ward, Hunslet & Riverside ward and Middleton Park ward and for the West Yorkshire Mayor. Many of them have taken up our offer to tell you about why they are standing and you can also watch the hustings meetings we held last week where we put readers’ questions to the candidates.

South Leeds Life does not support any political party, but we urge all our readers to use their vote on 6 May.

Again, due to the pandemic, counting of votes will take place over several days this year. Votes will be varified on Friday 7 May; the Leeds City Council votes will be counted on Saturday 8 May; and West Yorkshire Mayor votes will be counted on Sunday 9 May. We will bring you the results as soon as they are announced.