Everything you need to know about the local election in Wigan

Local council elections are taking place across Greater Manchester (and elsewhere) on 4 May – including Wigan.

Here’s your guide to what you need to know.

What election is taking place in Wigan?

The local council elections. There are 176 candidates vying for a spot in Wigan Town Hall’s council chamber with 75 seats to fill – the whole of the chamber, making this an ‘all-out’ election.

Who can vote in the elections?

The deadline for voting registrations (17 April) has now passed, but anybody who applied before the date will be eligible provided that:

  • They are 18 years old or older on the day of election
  • Are a British, Irish, European Union or qualifying Commonwealth citizen
  • Registered for an address in the local area
  • Not legally excluded from voting

Who is standing for election in Wigan?

The current council leader, Labour’s David Molyneux, is once again standing in the Ince ward, after a successful election in 2022.

One challenge for most parties is trying to get a foothold of Wigan Central, which has been under full Labour control since 2011. George Davies, Michael McLoughlin and Lawrence Hunt are all once again standing for Labour, while Mark Frith from the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats’ Brian Whitney will be looking to take one of the three available seats.

What does the outgoing council look like in Wigan?

Labour holds 61 of the 75 seats in Wigan Town Hall. Therefore. With such a large majority it is not expected to change too much, especially when Labour are the only party fielding three candidates in each ward.

The other 14 seats have been held equally between the Conservatives and independent candidates. If there is to be a change come election night, it is expected that the number of independents will rise slightly, as an increased number of candidates are looking to snatch seats from well-known parties.

What are the issues being debated in Wigan?

Increased funding for secondary schools is a big topic going into these elections. Currently, there are 31 secondary schools in the Wigan borough which are over capacity, so there is pressure on the council to fix this issue.

Part of the problem is the council have increased the number of houses built in the local area, so people want to see the same effort go into their schools. 

When and where can I vote?

The polls open at 7am on Thursday 4 May and close at 10pm. You can check where your nearest polling station is here.

The 2023 local elections are also the first to happen under new legislation which means votes must now show photographic ID upon arrival at the polling station. 

When will the results be announced?

The result are not then announced until the following day, Friday 5 May.

Mancunian Matters will be covering the local elections across Greater Manchester.

We will be speaking to voters, campaigners and councillors on the key issues which dominate this year’s elections. Follow our website and social media for more information leading up to polling day and beyond.

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