Voters in Calderdale will join the country in going to the polls for the local elections 2019.
As few as two seats changing hands could lead to the balance of power moving on Calderdale Council as the borough goes to the polls today
Calderdale is a hung council, as it has been for most of its 45-year history, but that can mean just a few seats changing hands can have a big effect.
It is possible it may happen this year if Labour, the ruling group on the council but without an overall majority, could gain a net two seats.
READ MORE: Full rundown of Calderdale candidates standing in the local elections 2019
The council has 51 councillors and the make-up as of April 2019 is: Labour 24, Conservatives 20, Liberal Democrats six and Independents one.
This Labour are only defending six seats to the Conservatives ten – which means it is also possible for the Conservatives to reach the magic number of 26 for a majority too, but do do so they would have to pull off almost a clean sweep.
There is another totally unknown factor in this year’s elections – whether Brexit will have an effect and how that might split, or whether purely local concerns will be uppermost in voters’ minds.
Candidates from the National Front and For Britain Movement groups will be standing in the Calderdale Council elections.
All three leaders of Calderdale’s biggest political groups will also be standing for re-election in this year’s campaign.
Leader of the Council and Labour Group Leader Coun Tim Swift will be defending his Town ward seat, Conservative Group Leader Coun Scott Benton looks to retain Brighouse ward and Coun James Baker, Liberal Democrat Group Leader, is defending Warley ward.
They are among 75 candidates who are standing for election when Calderdale goes to the polls on Thursday, May 2.
Across 17 wards, Labour, the Conservatives and the Green Party are standing candidates in each ward, and the Liberal Democrats are standing 16 candidates, one in each ward except Brighouse.
Four independents are standing, the Yorkshire Party fields two candidates and the National Front and For Britain Movement have one each.
Among serving councillors who have chosen not to defend their seats are this year’s Mayor of Calderdale, Coun Marcus Thompson, who has held Skircoat for the Conservatives.
Long-serving Labour Coun Barry Collins, who has been Deputy Leader of both the Council and the Labour Group, is standing down in Illingworth and Mixenden.
Conservative Coun Chris Pearson is stepping down in Greetland and Stainland and Labour’s Coun Carol Machell is leaving her Todmorden seat.