Bradfordians will have their biggest political choice yet as 31 council seats are contested at the polls next month.

The ruling Conservatives along with Labour, the largest party on Bradford Council, are both defending 11 seats, Liberal Democrats five, Green Party two and the British National Party one.

The Tories, Labour and Liberal Democrats are contesting every seat. The BNP has a record 17 candidates, there are 11 Green candidates standing, six for the UK Independence Party, three independents, three for MP George Galloway's Respect party, one Blah! Party candidate and the leader of the newly-formed Anti-Crime Party, Norman Scarth, is making Bingley his target.

Key figures fighting for their seats on May 3 include Liberal Democrat leader Jeanette Sunderland in Idle and Thackley, long-serving Tory Simon Cooke in Bingley Rural, Labour group education spokesman Ralph Berry (Wibsey), Green chief whip David Ford (Heaton) as well as two members of the Council's Conservative-run executive, Malcolm Sykes (Clayton and Fairweather Green) and Martin Smith (Ilkley) The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Labour's Choudhary Rangzeb is also up for possible re-election in Manningham, while his successor-to-be, the Conservative's Robin Owens is standing again in Bingley. Current Deputy Lord Mayor, John Godward is also contesting his Great Horton seat for Labour.

Six councillors are standing down including former Tory, now independent, Jamshed Kahn in City ward, following an ongoing investigation into electoral fraud which lost him the whip.

The others are John Briggs (Lid Dem, Baildon), Lynne Joyce (Lab, Keighley Central), Irene Ellison-Wood (Lab, Keighley West), Judith Black (Lab, Royds), and Tony Miller (Lab, Windhill and Wrose).

BNP group leader Councillor James Lewthwaite is switching from the Wyke ward to try his luck in Royds. Darryn Manby, will vie for Coun Lewthwaite's Wyke seat instead. He came a close second behind Labour in the ward last year.

And Sharif Abdel Gawad, a Greek Armenian who attracted controversy last year when he stood for the BNP in Bowling and Barkerend, is back for the party this time in Great Horton.

Bolton and Undercliffe is likely to be hotly-contested as there are two seats up for grabs, due to Liberal Democrat Bob Hargreaves being jailed for five years in January after being convicted of sexually abusing two schoolgirls.

The count will begin on Friday, May 4, with the first results expected back around noon.

The last day for requesting a new postal vote is Wednesday, April 18, with the following Wednesday - April 25 - being last the final day for new applications to vote by proxy.

e-mail: jo.winrow

The candidates

BRADFORD WARDS: Baildon: Eric Baxendale (BNP), Sara Joyce Clarke (Lib Dem), Eleanor Elizabeth Kilyon (Lab), Roger L'Amie (Con), Robert Minter Nicholls (Green).

Bingley: Arthur Albert John Arnold (Green), Robert Douglas Beckwith (Lab), James Scott Beech (UKiP), *Robin Ernest Owens (Con), Norman Scarth (Anti-Crime Party), Susan Valerie Whelan (Lib Dem).

Bingley Rural: *Andrew Simon Cooke (Con), Rita Cromie (BNP), Brian Newham (Green), James Albert Newton (Lab), Jason Paul Smith (UKiP), Alan Sykes (Lib Dem).

Bolton & Undercliffe: Ryan Bradley Atkinson (Con), Margaret Isobel Chadwick (Lib Dem), Sinead Engel (Lab), Ronnie Fieldhouse (Lab), *Howard Middleton (Lib Dem), Steve Schofield (Green), John Andrew Wills (Con).

Bowling & Barkerend: Ray Bage (Lab), *Mohammed Jamil (Con), Tracey Dawn Leeming (Lib Dem), Muhammad Shakeel (Ind).

Bradford Moor: Zubair Hussain (Lib Dem), *Ghazanfer Khaliq (Lab), Azhar Mahmood (Con).

City: Waheed Ali (Con), Derek Curtis (Green), Shakeela Jan Lal (Lab), Nadia Macgranthin (Respect), Chris Reid (Lib Dem).

Clayton & Fairweather Green: Lorna Mary Ruth Leeming (Lib Dem), Peter Adrian Longthorn (Lab), Kim Riach (BNP), *Malcolm Sykes (Con).

Craven: Ian Bannister (UK Independence Party), J Alan Edwards (Lab), Valerie Harris (Green), *Michael John Kelly (Con), Angela Pearson (Lib Dem).

Eccleshill: *Carol Ann Beardmore (Lib Dem), David Mark Chapman (Con), Tony Niland (Lab), Mel Rhodes (UKiP), Jenny Sampson (BNP).

Great Horton: Sharif Abdel Gawad (BNP), *John Derek Godward (Lab), Richard Milczanowski (Con), Rafiq M Sehgal (Lib Dem).

Heaton: *David Michael Ford (Green), Elizabeth Hellmich (Con), Rizwan Malik (Lab), Helen Wright (Lib Dem).

Idle & Thackley: Patricia Boyle (BNP), *Jeanette Sunderland (Lib Dem), Edward Christopher Ward (Conservative), Rosie Watson (Lab).

Ilkley: Andrew Peter Alan Dundas (Lab), Betts Fetherston (Green), Barbara Pierscionek (Lib Dem), *Martin Smith (Con).

Keighley Central: Zafar Ali (Con), Roger Beaumont (Lib Dem), Mark Patrick Taylor (Lab).

Keighley East: Judith Brooksbank (Lib Dem), *Dorothy Clamp (Con), Doreen Lee (Lab), Rose Anne Thompson (BNP).

Keighley West: Maralyn Adey (Lib Dem), Peter David Clarke (BNP), Sandra Elizabeth Haigh (Lab), Brian Hudson (Ind), William Root (Con).

Little Horton: Farhan Ali (Respect), *Sher Khan (Lab), John Brian Massen (Lib Dem), Mohammed Najeeb (Con).

Manningham: Arshad Ali (Respect), Ishrat Bukhari (Con), Qasim Khan (Lib Dem), *Choudhary Rangzeb (Lab), John Edward Robinson (Green).

Queensbury: Lynda Jane Cromie (BNP), Antony Habergham (Lib Dem), *Stuart Hanson (Con), Graham Vincent Mahony (Lab).

Royds: Derek Ernest Green (Con), Edward John Hallmann (Lib Dem), James Graham Lewthwaite (BNP), Gill Thornton (Lab).

Shipley: Kevin Harold Armstrong (Lab), Laura Beadsworth (BNP), Philip Edward Bird (UKiP), John Hall (Lib Dem), Derek Taylor (Con), *Kevin Robert Warnes (Green).

Thornton & Allerton: Mark Richard Blackburn (Lab), Clifford Cockayne (BNP), Carl Finlan (The Blah! Party), *Michael Evan McCabe (Con), Ruth Mary Sharples Weston (Lib Dem).

Toller: Owen David Griffiths (Lib Dem), *Amir Hussain (Lab), Amjad Hussain (Con).

Tong: Peter Brear (UKiP), Simon Buckingham (Con), Susan Elizabeth Fletcher (Lib Dem), Leslie Nakonecznyi (BNP), *John Ruding (Lab).

Wharfedale: Lorraine Colette Kirkwood (Lab), *Matthew James Steven Palmer (Con), Vernon Patrick Harcourt (Lib Dem).

Wibsey: *Ralph David Ritchie Berry (Lab), Brian James Boulton (Lib Dem), Andrew John Clarke (BNP), Richard Ian Sheard (Con).

Windhill & Wrose: Linda Margaret Arnold (Green), Michael Breen (Ind), Neil Craig (BNP), Susan Kathryn Hinchcliffe (Lab), Andrew Charles Rowley (Con), John Robert Watmough (Lib Dem).

Worth Valley: Keith Edward Dredge (Lab), *Peter Henry Hill (Con), John Paul Joy (BNP), Jack Taylor (Lib Dem).

Wyke: Sarah Ferriby (Lab), Kevin Anthony Hall (Lib Dem), Robert Darryn Manby (BNP), John Arthur Stead (Con).

CALDERDALE WARDS: Brighouse: *Joyce Cawthra (Con), Daniel Alan Coll (Lab), Richard Thomas Langford (English Democrats), Jane Ann Shooter (BNP), Luke William Wickham (Lib Dem).

Hipperholme & Lightcliffe: Keith John Butterick (Lab), Malcolm Graham James (Lib Dem), *David Kirton (Con), Chris O'Connor.

Northowram & Shelf: Ann Jackson (BNP), Gary Rae (The Labour And Co-Operative Party), Michael Alfred Smith (Lib Dem), *Roger Laurence Taylor (Con).

Rastrick: Katie Jane Gill (BNP), Ann Martin (Lab), David Vincent Stevenson (English Democrats), Cheryl Elizabeth Stovin (Lib Dem), Craig Whittaker (Con).

KIRKLEES WARDS: Birstall & Birkenshaw: Suzy Brain England (Lab), *Robert Light (Con), Clive Lord (Green), David Robinson (Lib Dem), John Wilkinson (BNP).

Cleckheaton: Harvey Mawston (Con), *Andrew Pinnock (Lib Dem), Michael Ramsden (Lab), Mike Thompson (BNP), Ruth Walker-Mahmood (Green).

Heckmondwike: Christine Bloom (Lib Dem), Steve Cass (BNP), Richard Howarth (Con), *David Sheard (Lab).

Liversedge & Gomersal: Neil Bentley (Lib Dem), Alan Girvan (BNP), Marielle O'Neill (Lab), Gillian Redshaw (Green), *Derrick Yates (Con).

Mirfield: Andrew Cookson (BNP), Natalie Holdsworth (Green), Carol McCormack (Lib Dem), Julie Miles (Lab), David Pinder (The New Party), *Kath Taylor (Con).

LEEDS WARDS Calverley & Farsley: *Amanda Carter (Con), Kathryn Elizabeth Gagen (Lib Dem), Andrew Richard Jarosz (Lab), Robert John Leary (BNP).

Guiseley & Rawdon: *Stuart James Andrew (Con), Colin Clifford Avison (Green), Gareth Morgan Christie (Alliance For Green Socialism), Cindy Cleasby (Lib Dem), Mike King (Lab), Wayne Patrick Taylor (BNP).

Horsforth: Ian Asquith (BNP), *Andy Barker (Lib Dem), Sandi Crabtree (UK Independence Party), Nigel James Gill (Lab), Richard Hardcastle (Con), Paul Hellyer (Christian Peoples Alliance), Douglas Holmes (Ind), Stuart William Thornton (Green).

Otley & Yeadon: *Colin Andrew Campbell (Lib Dem), John Eveleigh (Lab), Simon Harris Fearn (Alliance For Green Socialism), Theresa Hellyer (Christian Peoples Alliance), John Sharples (Con), Richard Thomas Warrington (BNP), David Charles Webb (Green).

Pudsey: Phil Banks (UK Independence Party), Irene Glynis Dracup (Green), John Daniel Hirst (BNP), *Richard Alwyn Lewis (Lab), Joseph William Marjoram (Con), John Anthony Skinner (Lib Dem).

* denotes sitting councillor