Bradford Council has defended its decision not to have an overnight election count this year.

The local elections are being held on Thursday, May 22, but the authority will only begin counting ballot papers the next day. This plan has drawn criticism from the Conservative and Liberal Democrat groups, which have both said they would prefer an overnight count with results revealed as soon as possible.

But the authority said returning officer Tony Reeves had decided to opt for a next-day count because this year it was also having to process the results of elections for the European Parliament.

A Bradford Council spokesman said: “Election counts may take place after the close of poll on election day, or the day after, as has been the case in the past. This year the European Parliamentary election is taking place on the same day that local elections will be held. The number of parties standing for the European Parliamentary election and the size of the ballot paper will impact upon the length of time taken to complete the legal verification and count processes for both types of election. Therefore, the returning officer has decided that the election count processes will be held the day after election day.”