Voting season is well and truly upon us as we prepare for local elections on May 2 and with a general election looming later in the year.

It is the first time that photographic ID will be needed to cast a vote.

In Salford, local elections take place in three out of every four years; there are 60 seats in council and 20 are up for grabs this year, one from each ward.

The council elections fall in line with other major votes in the area this year so Salford residents will be treated to a triple header of democratic suffrage.

Both terms for the Mayor of Salford, Paul Dennett, and the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, are up for contention which makes for an action-packed May 2.

This means that residents in Salford will have the opportunity to have their say on who represents them on a residential, citywide and regional level.

Whether it be the sheer quantity of ballot papers to cross off that will encourage voters to come out or the opportunity to elect the next mayor of Salford and Greater Manchester, turnout will surely increase.

This is often a tactic used by authorities to line up votes in order to increase voter turnout which is often underwhelming in local elections across the country and particularly low in Salford.

The benefits are therefore in the people’s interest as larger suffrage for an area means a better reflection of who the people want to be their representatives in council.

The national average for last year’s local elections sat at 32%, whilst the turnout in Salford continued a downward trend to 24.20% turnout.

This means in Salford only a quarter of people have chosen who should represent 100% of residents, further promoting the desire by many for more participatory local elections.

For 2024, the proof is in the electoral pudding for authorities which ponder the benefits of stacking multiple elections on the same day.

The last time the local, Salford Mayoral and Greater Manchester Mayoral elections fell on the same day was in 2021.

This yielded a turnout of 28.41% in the local election and 28.76% in the Salford Mayoral elections.

Furthermore, any result from the upcoming elections in May will provide further insight into what the general election that is to be held later this year will look like.


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