Polling stations open as tight battle is predicted between Labour and conservatives in Milton Keynes elections

Today's elections will be one of the most tightly-fought battles ever between Labour and Conservatives.

Thursday, 5th May 2016, 12:57 pm
Updated Thursday, 5th May 2016, 2:02 pm

The polling stations open, the sun is shining and a good turnout is predicted.

Currently separated by just one seat, each party is determined to topple the other on May 5 and take control of Milton Keynes Council for the next two years or more.

Just one seat from each of the 19 wards is up for grabs, but this still means the council’s current format of 23 Labour and 22 Tory councillors could change significantly.

To complicate matters there is a by-election in Bletchley East, where Labour’s Carol Baume is standing down due to ill health.

Liberal Democrats, who currently have 12 members on the council, will be contesting every seat.

UKIP is putting up 11 candidates while the Green Party has three.

One Independent candidate, Darron Kendrick from Fishermead, is standing.

It will be a complicated ballot paper for voters as they must also elect the person they want to be the next Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner.

Several town and parish councils also have elections the same day, while residents in Newport Pagnell will be asked to vote for their town’s Neighbourhood Plan.