The starting gun has officially been fired on local elections across Lincolnshire and it looks like there’s a rise in independent thinking.
Every district in Lincolnshire is up for elections.
Lincolnshire County Council however remains unscathed having held its elections in 2017. It’s next ballot is planned to take place in May 2021, barring any unexpected step-downs or major overhauls.
In Lincoln City and North East Lincolnshire, the elections are only for one-third of councillors.
However, the rest of the districts (West Lindsey, North Kesteven, South Kesteven, South Holland, Boston Borough and East Lindsey District Council) and North Lincolnshire are all up for grabs.
The final lists of candidate names were released by councils across the Greater Lincolnshire area yesterday.
Notably this time round, there seems to be significantly fewer United Kingdom Independence Party candidates but a greater number of Independent councillors and independent groups such as Blue Revolution in Boston and the Skegness Urban District Society.
The Conservatives in Lincolnshire have already garnered advantages, however, with 14 wards uncontested, meaning that the nominated (or sitting) councillor has no opponents in this election — and there will be no election count necessary in that ward.
One ward has also been taken uncontested by one independant and one Labour candidate.
Particularly interesting elections to watch could be the North East Lincolnshire vote which, with Labour hanging on through a confidence and supply arrangement with the Lib Dems, could swing into a Tory area by gaining just a six of the 15 seats up for grabs.
Boston Borough Council could also throw up an interesting result, having previously had no overall control from 1973 until 2007 when the the Boston Bypass Independents came in. The Conservatives grasped control in 2011, but lost overall rights to lead again in 2015 when they drew temporarily with UKIP.
An agreement with some of those against the UKIP rise saw them lead again and since, slowly, they’ve had opposition councillors walk the floor to their side of the table, but the latest wave of independents could again knock them off that seat.
Those wanting to vote have until April 12 to get registered, while voters in North Kesteven District Council need to remember the authority is taking part in a Voter ID pilot this year.
This means you will need to take one of more than 25 options with you to the ballot box to vote, the full list can be found on their website.
Here are some key figures for across our area:
Current make-up: Conservative 17, UKIP 6, Independents 4, Bostonian Independents Group 3
Turnout for last election (2015): 44,456
EAST LINDSEY DISTRICT COUNCIL
55 seats – two seats uncontested
Current make-up: Conservative 38, East Lindsey Independent Group 7, Labour 4, UKIP 3, District Independent/Liberal Democrat 2, Independent Byford 1
Turnout for last election (2015): 63,320
SOUTH KESTEVEN DISTRICT COUNCIL
56 seats – two seats uncontested
Current make-up: Conservative 44, Independent 4, SK Independents 4, Labour 3, Unaligned 1
Turnout for last election (2015): 103,442
WEST LINDSEY DISTRICT COUNCIL
36 Seats – four seats uncontested
Current make-up: Conservative 24, Liberal Democrats 7, Labour 3, Independent 2
Turnout for last election (2015): 82,461