Political

2020 May local elections postponed until 2021

The BBC reports:

Local and mayoral elections in England will be postponed for a year to May 2021 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Downing Street said it would be impractical to hold the elections as planned, as they would come during the peak of the spread of the virus.

Polls were due in 118 English councils, the London Assembly and for seven English regional mayors.

Voting was also due to take place for the London mayor and police and crime commissioners in England and Wales.

Responding to news, Ed Davey said:

It is the right decision to delay local elections but it is not clear why the government has decided to delay for a year rather than until autumn as the Electoral Commission advised.

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5 responses to “2020 May local elections postponed until 2021”

  1. Any indication as to whether emergency legislation to stop a by-election taking place after notice of election already given? Got one on 2nd April, but currently returning officer finding he cannot legally stop it.

  2. Obviously some practicalities are not fully clear, but I don’t think Govt have thought this through. Our Borough has by-elections by-thirds and we were just finding candidates for May. May 2021 sees all-out County Council elections. Do we have the whole lot on the same day (which does save a bit of money and quite a lot of effort) ? Might it be better to hold the Borough ones in (say) March 2021 and the County ones at the usual time ?

    David E has an important point about by-elections too. Here, 2 Borough Cllrs died, one just before Christmas and one just after, and 7 May 2020 was to have been the date of the two BEs. I’ve written to the returning officer to ask if these BEs will have to be held anyway, since Dec-May is pushing on the statutory six-month limit. No idea what the answer will be. Importantly, no idea what to tell the candidates …

    In some ways the people I feel really sorry for are the Cllrs who thought they were retiring and who will now have to work longer. The saying goes that you “can’t force a volunteer”, but this Govt seems to think it can !

  3. In reply to Kate Smith, what to me seems the best solution is for all existing Councillor terms of office to be extended by one year so that County Council elections will be held in even non-leap years and District Council elections in “all up” areas are held in Leap Years (including 2100).

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