Local elections are set to take place on Thursday, May 5 with polling stations being open across the UK, including in Southend.

Those who vote will be choosing local representatives in England, Wales and Scotland, whilst Northern Ireland will be choosing Assembly members.

Many of these seats were last contested in 2018 when Theresa May was Prime Minister and Jeremy Corbyn was her biggest challenger.

People will need to head to their local polling station before closing time if they wish to place a vote.

What seats are up for grabs?

While local elections are happening in England, not all areas have one taking place.

More than 4,000 councillors in 146 councils will be standing for election in areas all across England, plus in all 32 London boroughs.

South Yorkshire will also be voting for a regional mayor and 1,000 parish councils will be electing around 10,000 councillors.

All 32 councils in Scotland and all 22 in Wales will be holding elections, with residents able to vote from the age of 16.

In Northern Ireland, voters will be electing 90 members, representing 18 constituencies, to the Northern Ireland Assembly.

What are people voting for?

Polling results published in the Daily Telegraph newspaper suggested the Conservatives could be set for their worst performance in the local elections since the 1990s.

The survey, conducted by Electoral Calculus with Find Out Now, suggested Labour could be on course to gain more than 800 seats, while the Tories are likely to lose 548 seats on councils across the country.

Veteran elections expert Professor Sir John Curtice told the PA news agency it was hard to predict the outcome of local elections, adding the loss of 550 seats was “not unrealistic”.

When do polling stations close in Southend?

Polling stations are set to open at 7am and close at 10pm on Thursday in Southend.

It’s important to get to the polling station in plenty of time before it closes to make sure you are able to vote.

Echo: England local elections 2022: councils to watch outside London (PA Graphics)England local elections 2022: councils to watch outside London (PA Graphics)

When will local election 2022 results be announced?

With polling stations closing at 10pm, votes are set to be counted once ballot boxes are taken from all polling stations and sent to local or regional counting centres where they’ll be opened and counted by staff.

When all the votes for the area are all counted, the returning officer who is in charge will announce the results on stage.

It’s likely the first batch of results will be revealed at midnight with some locations such as Essex itself, as well as Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Greater Manchester and Bolton traditionally being announced around this time.

The latest is likely to be around 5pm on Saturday from Tower Hamlets.