Voting for the Norwich City Council election is set to take place on Thursday 3 May, with a third of all seats up available to candidates.
The current composition of the council is that of a sound Labour majority, with 26 out of the 39 seats under the party’s control. It is mathematically impossible for Labour to lose their majority. However, they do face challenges from the Green Party’s 10 seats and the Liberal Democrats’ presence in Eaton.
At the moment, the Conservatives hold no seats on the council but do have candidates contesting every seat on offer. They are expected to push for success in Bowthorpe, Catton Grove and Eaton after finishing second place in said wards during the last City Council election in May 2016.
Former UKIP Chairman of Norwich South Eric Masters is running as a Conservative for Lakenham, leaving UKIP with zero candidates in the running across Norwich. This is yet another blow for the party’s presence in the East, following a mass defection of seven UKIP councillors in Great Yarmouth Borough Council late last year. This took the council from a UKIPConservative share of power to a Conservative majority.
The last City Council election saw the University ward produce one of Labour’s highest majorities in Norwich at 42.7 percent, yet exhibited one of the lowest turnout rates across the city at just 28 percent, almost halving from the previous local election.
It is estimated that one in six people living in the East of England are not yet registered to vote. Vice-Chancellor David Richardson and Jack Robinson SU Campaigns and Democracy Officer issued a joint statement encouraging students to register.
They said: “We would encourage all students to register to vote in the upcoming local elections. When students come to UEA you not only join the campus community you also join the wider Norwich community. Voting is an important part of community life and it’s vital for students to have their say in the future of Norwich and our local services.
“Be sure you have your say,” they added.
To ensure your right to vote is secured, visit www.gov.uk.registerto-vote before midnight on Tuesday 17 April. The candidates running for the university ward are: Syed Ahmad (Conservative), Connor Bell (Liberal Democrats), Matthew Fulton-McAlister (Labour), and Claire Stephenson (Green).