Voters head to polls in UK’s Super Thursday elections

May 5, 2016 9:28 am

Voters are heading to polling stations across the in Super Thursday elections. ©PA

People across the UK are going to the polls to vote in a number of elections for mayors, councilors, assembly members and police commissioners.
Polling stations opened at 7 a.m. BST across the country on what has been called as “Super Thursday.” The election will end at 10 p.m.
Voters will cast their ballots for Wales’ National Assembly, the Scottish Parliament, Northern Ireland Assembly and 124 councils in England.
People will also select mayors for London, Liverpool, Bristol and Salford. UK parliamentary by-elections will also take place in Ogmore and Sheffield Brightside.
Some 40 police and crime commissioners will also be chosen in England and Wales as part of the elections.
In England, 2,747 council seats, including district councils, metropolitan boroughs, will be selected.
London residents will vote for a successor to mayor Boris Johnson who has been in the City Hall since 2008.

Britain’s Labour Party candidate for London Mayor Sadiq Khan reacts as he canvasses for supporters at a market in London on May 4, 2016. ©AFP

According to reports, Labour Party’s Sadiq Khan is expected to defeat his main rival Conservative Party candidate Zac Goldsmith and become London’s first Muslim mayor.
The campaign was marred by negative methods as Goldsmith, son of billionaire businessman, tried to establish links between Khan, son of a Pakistani immigrant bus driver, and extremists.  
Khan dismissed the accusations as “negative, divisive and increasingly desperate campaign.”
Votes will be counted on Friday and some results will be declared on the day while others are not expected until Sunday.
The elections are regarded as the largest test of political opinion before the 2020 general elections.
They came at a time when the Labour Party is facing anti-Semitism accusations because of the anti-Israel stance of a number of its party members. The opposition party was forced to suspend some councilors and MP Naz Shah for their anti-Israel posts on social media pages. Former London mayor Ken Livingston was also suspended after defending Naz Shah and criticizing the British media for ignoring Israeli war crimes against the Palestinian people. Livingston also said that Hitler had been a Zionist early in his political career.
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