MILLIONS of Brits have been at the polls today casting their votes for the local elections – and it is set to be an absolute nail biter.
In England, a whopping 4,360 seats on 146 councils are up for grabs as well as a handful of mayoral elections.
Boris Johnson was spotted heading off to cast his vote in Westminster with dog Dilyn this morningCredit: The Mega Agency
Labour leader Keir Starmer and his wife Victoria Starmer leave a polling station on ThursdayCredit: Alamy
Seven key local election battlegrounds
And astonishingly, more than 1,800 of those seats are in London where every seat in London’s 32 boroughs will be contested.
But all eyes are now on crucial Red Wall seats – those Labour areas that turned Tory at the 2019 General Election.
Key pinch points in the race will be in Sunderland where the Tories are hoping to deprive Labour of the majority it has held since 1974.
Bolton is also set to be a nail-biting finish, with Labour hoping to turn the council from blue to red.
Eagle-eyed critics will be honing their sights on Amber Valley, Derbyshire – a bellwether Boris and Sir Keir will be using as an indicator of the national picture.
Meanwhile Labour are hoping to cause historic upset in the traditional Tory stronghold of Westminster.
Sir Keir’s party are also eyeing up Conservative majority Dudley in the West Midlands for a possible colour change.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer were up early on Thursday to rally supporters to back their party at the ballot box.
And their armies of activists were out hammering on doors at the crack of dawn in a last-gasp heave to rake in every possible vote.
Boris made a last dash to Southampton on Wednesday to fend off a creeping threat from Labour.
Tensions are running high between the pair as voters will cast their ballots in line with key issues impacting the country.
Partygate, the cost of living crisis and the war in Ukraine are top issues Boris and Sir Keir have been battling over.
Meanwhile in Northern Ireland, voters will choose the make-up of the next Stormont assembly as they need to fill 90 seats.
Polling predicts Sinn Fein – the nationalists who want a united Ireland and have historic links to the IRA – to win the most seats.
It would mean there could be a Sinn Fein first minister for the first time in history.
But under peace-keeping power-sharing arrangements the leader of the second largest party – which will be a unionist – will be their deputy.
In Scotland, all 32 councils are being contested while 22 Welsh local authorities are also having their fate sealed at the ballot box.
It is the first election in Wales where 16 and 17-year-olds have the right to vote – meaning 70,000 teenagers are eligible to go to the polling station,
In Scotland, over-16s can vote, but in England the minimum age is 18.
Polls closed as 10pm but first results are are not expected to be until around 2am.
Results from Sunderland – the north east city who take pride in lodging their results first – are expected around this time.
A lady leaves a polling station on her bike in CardiffCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Voters queue up outside a polling station in LondonCredit: Rex
Party tellers from the Greens and Labour have a natter outside a polling station in NorwichCredit: Getty