Voters are heading to the polls today to elect their representatives on Lincolnshire County Council elections, and for a Boston Borough Council by-election.
Polling stations are open until 10pm - with the Conservatives looking to defend a strong majority at County Hall that was won in 2009 during a high point for the party nationally towards the end of Gordon Brown’s time at Prime Minister.
In Boston six of seven divisions are currently held by Conservatives, but the party faces strong opposition from UKIP and Labour in every seat as well as a number of independent candidates.
National pollsters are predicting a strong showing for UKIP and the party will be hoping that those figures bring at least one seat in Boston.
However, Lincolnshire’s last election for the police and crime commissioner in November saw voters turn away from the main parties to independent candidates.
Labour is also hoping to capitalise on potential public dissatisfaction with the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats at a national level with the coalition government while the Conservatives are backing their moves to freeze council tax bills to prove they can run the council efficiently.
*Need some help to place your vote? Pick up this week’s Boston Standard for words from each of the candidates...
The Boston candidates are:
Boston Coastal (current holder Peter Bedford, Con): Peter Bedford (Con), Paul Gleeson (Lab) and Felicity Ransome (UKIP).
Boston East (current holder Mike Gilbert, Con): Anne Dorrian (Ind), Richard Dungworth (Lincs Ind), Mike Gilbert (Con), Paul Kenny (Labour and Co-op), Sue Ransome (UKIP).
Boston Fishtoft (current holder Raymond Singleton-McGuire, Con): Elizabeth Ransome (UKIP), Mike Sheridan-Shinn (Labour), Raymond Singleton-McGuire (Con), Ossy Snell (Ind).
Boston North West (current holder Andrea Jenkyns, Con): Paul Goodale (Lab), Andrea Jenkyns (Con), Tiggs Keywood-Wainwright (UKIP), Carol Taylor (Ind).
Boston Rural (current holder Mike Brookes, Con): Mike Brookes (Con), Norman Hart (Labour), Jodie Sutton (UKIP).
Boston South (current holder Paul Skinner, Con): Alison Austin (Lincs Ind), Jan Finch (Lab), Don Ransome (UKIP), Paul Skinner (Con).
Boston West (current holder Major Ray Newell, Ind): Yvonne Gunter (Con), Pam Kenny (Lab and Co-op), Robert Lauberts (Lincs Ind) and Bob McAuley (UKIP).
Also, bordering the borough:
Donington Rural (current holder Amanda Puttick, Con): Teelesh Bisnauthsing (Lib Dem), Terry Davis (UKIP), Jane King (Lincs Ind), Sheena Ross (Lab), Sue Wray (Con).
Tattershall Castle (current holder Betty Harvey, Con): Betty Harvey (Con), Colin Mair (UKIP), Neil Ward (Lab).
Spilsby Fen (current holder Jim Swanson, Con): Victoria Ayling (UKIP), Christopher Burton (Ind), Julia Pears (Ind), Chris Prince (Lab), Jim Swanson (Con).
Wainfleet and Burgh (current holder Neil Cooper, Con): Terry Chipchase (Lab), Neil Cooper (Con), Chris Pain (UKIP).
The candidates for the byelection for the Boston Borough Council Staniland South ward, which was held by the late Paul Mould, are:
Pam Kenny (Labour), Robert Lauberts (Independent), Bob McAuley (UKIP), Carl Richmond (Conservative).