As life starts to feel more normal, elections are taking place again this week with millions of people across the UK heading to polls- and in the West Midlands, that includes voting for a Mayor. However, elections will look a little different this year, so we have set out what to expect amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and implications for the polls.
Who can I vote for?
There are a total of 5 candidates standing, with Andy Street and Liam Byrne the two favourites:
Liam Bryne (Labour and Co-operative Party)
Steve Caudwell (Green Party)
Pete Durnall (Reform UK)
Andy Street (Conservative Party)
Jenny Wilkinson (Liberal Democrats)
Remember, Mayoral elections are undertaken using a Supplementary Voting system, so voters can choose their preferred candidate as well as a second choice. If no candidate achieves 50% of the vote, candidates with the lowest number of votes are eliminated and their second preferences re-allocated.
You do not have to choose a second preference if you do not have one. However, if the result is close the allocation of second preference votes could be vital, so consider your choice carefully.
How can I find out about the candidates?
If you live within the West Midlands Combined Authority area you will have already received your information pack. You can also read the manifestos of the main candidates, including Andy Street and Liam Byrne.
How can I vote?
If you are registered for postal vote this should have arrived on the 16th of April: This must be received by 10pm on the 6th May. If you are voting in person, this will take place on Thursday 6th May at your local polling station, between the times of 7am-10pm.
When will we know the results?
This is a new experience for the UK democracy and several steps are being taken to comply with social distancing and to keep voters safe. Along with the processes we have all become familiar with, including masks and screens, COVID will have an impact on when results are announced.
Unlike General Elections, the results of local elections will not be known for a few days. This is normal but has also been impacted by COVID measures introduced this year. In the West Midlands we are expecting results to be announced on Saturday 8th May. However, if the result is close – as we expect it to be – then results could be delayed further.