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Local elections 2022: Control of Sunderland City Council up for grabs as polling stations open across Wearside

Polling stations have opened in Wearside and across the country, as voters prepare to deliver their verdict on the city’s political leaders.

By James Harrison
Thursday, 5th May 2022, 11:37 am

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About a third of seats on Sunderland City Council are being put to the ballot today (Thursday, May 5), with contests in 24 of the 25 wards which make up the local authority.

The Labour Party, which has controlled the current incarnation of the city council since its creation almost half a century ago, faces a tough test to cling on to power.

A run of poor results has seen the party’s majority in the council chamber whittled down to just six councillors, following gains by Conservative and Liberal Democrat rivals.

Polling station at Fulwell Windmill, Sunderland

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But a gap in national opinion polling threatens to set the Tories back, just as they hope to overhaul Wearside’s political map.

Where can I vote?

Polling stations across the city will be open from 7am – 10pm.

A polling station at Southwick Community Centre, Sunderland

See Sunderland City Council’s website for a full list of polling stations.

I’ve got a postal vote but haven’t posted it yet

Postal votes can still be used, even if you missed the deadline for postage, just take it to your polling station or Electoral Registration Office and hand it in there by 10pm.

If you haven’t posted it because it’s been damaged, you should be able to collect a replacement up to 5pm.

I haven’t registered to vote – is it too late?

Unfortunately yes, the deadline to register passed on Thursday, April 14.

But you can make sure you’re ready to vote in the next round of elections.

I can’t make it to a polling station – what should I do?

It’s too late mail a postal ballot (if you have one) and the deadline to arrange a proxy vote has already passed, but an emergency request can still be made by contacting the city council’s electoral services department.

Why is one of the city council wards not voting with the other 24?

Reg Coulson, the UKIP candidate for the Copt Hill ward, died aged 76 last month.

What are the key results to watch out for?

Graeme Miller and Antony Mullen, the leaders of the council’s Labour and Conservative groups, respectively, are both up for re-election in their wards, among several battles.