The local election season is upon us and on Thursday, May 2 voters will head to the polls to decide some local councils in the Hampshire area.

Although the deadline for registering has passed, those registered in time will be able to vote on Thursday as long as they have a form of acceptable voter ID which consists of most forms of photo identification. 

The elections will serve as a test for the ruling Conservatives led by the Prime Minister whose party has seen a collapse in polling due to several high profile scandals and disasters (such as Partygate and Liz Truss’s disastrous mini-budget), because of this it is expected that the Tories will lose much of its gains it made the last time these council seats were up for election (2021). 

Two parties will be looking to capitalise on this on polling day. First there is Labour who are traditionally the main opposition to the Tories, in 2023 they gained 537 councillors mostly due to how fed up people are with the ruling Conservatives. They will be looking to gain even more councillors in the upcoming local elections because of continued infighting inside the current government.

Secondly is Reform UK, formally known as the Brexit party, led by Richard Tice who have stolen many of the Conservatives' more right wing voters (especially on social issues such as immigration) to their party. While only fielding 323 candidates this year, it’s likely they will increase their councillor share, currently sitting at 10, to a much higher number.

Whatever the outcome, these local elections will be the last main elections until the next general election is held (no later than January 28, 2025) and will likely decide what issues each party will campaign on and what their strategies will be, if Labour makes huge gains for example, then they will likely campaign on similar issues during the national campaign.

  • This article was written by Oliver Sparks, from Wildern School, as part of Newsquest's Young Reporter Scheme.