Polls have opened across England, with Rishi Sunak set to face his first major electoral test since entering No10 just over six months ago.
The Prime Minister predicted a “hard night” for his party at the local elections, but said that the Conservatives were now moving away from “box set drama” politics.
The local elections are also likely to be the final set of polls before the next general election, with the results expected to give an indication of whether Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer could be on course for Downing Street.
Sunak’s pre-polling day comments came at an Onward think tank event on Wednesday evening.
He reportedly said: “We should be prepared that tomorrow night is going to be hard for us. Good councillors will lose their seats because of all that has happened over the past year.”
One of the key areas of contention in the run-up to the election has been the introduction of mandatory photo ID, which many believe disproportionately impacts younger people.
Byline Times has spoken to dozens of voters affected by mandatory photo ID as the scheme is rolled out for the first time nationally in England.
One woman in Luton said she was turned away because her passport was with a solicitor, while a polling clerk admitted they had had to turn away “quite a few people” for not having the correct ID.
Paul Turner, a voter in Petersfield, East Hampshire, told the newspaper he witnessed three people get turned away for lacking ID within just five minutes. The poll clerk there was reportedly “adamant” that people were “encouraged to come back with ID”.
There are also concerns that postal votes haven’t been registered because of a delay caused by the Bank Holidays.
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