THE VOTES are cast and the counting is set to begin.
Results of the Redditch Borough Council elections are expected from 1pm and the Standard will be live at the count from the Town Hall bringing you all the news as it happens.
The rise of UKIP has made this year’s poll one of the most unpredictable in recent political history.
So what should we be looking out for?
For UKIP, they will be hoping to capitalise on the success they have enjoyed elsewhere in the country in Redditch.
Winyates represents their best chance of winning a seat as voters in that ward are never afraid to ditch the mainstream parties and are expected to do so again.
But if they split the Conservatives’ vote the way they have done elsewhere in England then they have an outside chance of making gains in the Tory heartlands of Headless Cross & Oakenshaw and Crabbs Cross.
Astwood Bank & Feckenham is probably the most interesting seat. Under normal circumstances the Conservatives would be guaranteed to hold on to it.
But as UKIP showed at last year’s county council elections they have strong support in that area and a win for the party would be a sensational result.
Even if they fail to take it, Labour could benefit having put up a strong local candidate in Dr Gilly Cooper and some in the party have claimed this is their best chance of a win in that seat for almost two decades.
For Labour the equation is simple, hold on to the four seats they currently have and they retain control of the council for another year.
But in order to show they are on track to win the Parliamentary seat next year they will need to show progress and will be looking for gains in Batchley, Church Hill and Abbey.
For the Conservatives it is a case of damage limitation. They will lose seats it is just a question of how many. If they can hold on to Astwood Bank & Feckenham, Crabbs Cross and Headless Cross & Oakenshaw then it won’t have been a complete disaster.
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