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Thousands of voters set to have their say on Bradford’s political future on polling day
Tens of thousands of votes will be cast across Bradford today as the district goes to the polls in what could be a landmark shake-up of power at Bradford Council.
Not only will voters be selecting who will represent them in a third of the Council’s 90 seats, people will also have their say on whether an elected mayor should take control of the authority.
As polling stations close at 10pm today and votes start being counted at Richard Dunn sports centre in Odsal and the Leisure Centre in Keighley, the political make-up of the Council will be determined.
It stands at the ruling Labour group on 43, the Conservatives with 27, LIberal Democrats on 11, three Green Party councillors, two councillors forming The Independents group, and three independents. One seat is vacant, given the resignation of Robert Payne in Keighley West following his jailing for animal cruelty.
Labour is defending ten seats, the Conservatives 11, the Liberal Democrats six, the Green Party one and The Independents one.
Whatever happens, Labour will maintain a minimum of 33 seats and are therefore likely to remain the largest party. But who holds the balance of power, and enables Labour to create a working majority, is up for grabs.
The Respect Party is hoping to make inroads into the Council after George Galloway’s shock win in the Bradford West by-election five weeks ago. They are concentrating mainly on inner city wards with their 12 candidates.
Labour is fighting all 30 seats, as are the Liberal Democrats. The Conservatives have 28 candidates and are not contesting Great Horton and Tong. There are 13 Green candidates, eight for the UK Independence Party, three Democratic Nationalists, one independent, one for the British National Party and one Socialist Labour candidate.
A number of key figures are hoping for re-election, including leader of the Council and Little Horton councillor Ian Greenwood.