Today’s the day – Everything you need to know about voting in Suffolk’s 2019 local elections
PUBLISHED: 05:30 02 May 2019
Voters across Suffolk will take to the polls today for the 2019 local elections – with new councils and new wards meaning there is plenty at stake for candidates and political parties.
The polls are open from 7am today and close at 10pm, before votes are counted overnight or during the day tomorrow.
This year there is no Suffolk County Council election or General Election for MPs, but all of the county's district and borough councils will be involved in the polls.
That means that the councils you are voting on are responsible for things like waste collection, housing and planning applications, leisure services, street cleanliness and licensing of taxis, bars and restaurants.
If you are eligible to vote and registered with your local authority, you should have had a polling card delivered to your home which will tell you where your polling station is.
You don't need your card to vote, but it helps speed things up at the polling station when you come to cast your vote.
We've put together the full list of candidates for all of the councils, which you can find below:
Full candidate list – Ipswich Borough Council
Full candidate list – Babergh District Council
Full candidate list – Mid Suffolk District Council
Full candidate list - East Suffolk Council
Full candidate list – West Suffolk Council
Ipswich Borough Council is electing a third of its council – 16 seats – although the political make-up of the authority means that Labour cannot lose its majority.
Its count will be happening overnight tonight and into the early hours of the morning.
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Babergh and Mid Suffolk district councils will have their counts at Wherstead Park on Friday morning, but changes to the ward boundaries mean there are fewer seats available – Babergh now has 11 fewer with 32, while Mid Suffolk will have 34 – down by six.
Both have Conservative administrations currently, but with all seats being contested at both there is no foregone conclusion for what party, if any, will emerge with a majority.
The new East Suffolk Council will have its first ever election – one of two new 'super-districts' made up of the former Waveney and Suffolk Coastal councils.
There are 55 seats there – well down on the 90 elected under the two previous authorities, and while both had Tory administrations until ceasing to exist on April 1, a strong Labour contingent in the north could be key.
It's a similar picture at the new West Suffolk Council – effectively a merger of St Edmundsbury and Forest Heath councils – where 64 councillors will be elected, but the Conservatives head into that contest with eight seats already secure thanks to no opposition candidates coming forward.
Both East and West will count on Friday, but who will lead each council and the new cabinets will not be known until later this month.
For those needing a bit of help on what to keep an eye on and what some of the key issues are in their area, we've put together full previews for all of our councils, available online below:
Full preview – Ipswich Borough Council
Full preview – Babergh District Council
Full preview – Mid Suffolk District Council
Full preview – East Suffolk Council
Full preview – West Suffolk Council
Follow the EADT and Star's websites and social media channels for up-to-date information – we'll have live updates from 10.30pm tonight once the polls have closed, and continue our coverage from 10am tomorrow.
Our reporters will be live Tweeting from all of the key counts, plus we'll have the big stories and full analysis online and in Saturday's EADT.
You can also listen to our political reporters Paul Geater and Jason Noble discuss their predictions ahead of the elections, and we'll have a fresh discussion assessing all of the day's happenings online next week.
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