Nominations close for county council seats in Suffolk
- Credit: Archant
Nominations have closed for seats on county councils which will be contested in this year's local government elections on May 4.
In 2013 the Tories won 39 seats on Suffolk County Council, but over the last year they lost two seats to UKIP and the Liberal Democrats leaving them technically as a minority administration – however there is no united opposition at Endeavour House and the Conservatives were able to run the authority with few alarms.
They go into the election holding 37 seats. Labour has 15, UKIP has nine, the Liberal Democrat eight, the Greens two and there are three independents. There is one vacant seat after a UKIP councillor stood down earlier this year.
The Tories are hoping to win back some of the seats they lost to UKIP in 2013 when that party was at the height of its popularity – but are also aware that they could come under attack from a Liberal Democrat party that has been rejuvenated since last year's referendum and has won locally and nationally in significant by-elections.
UKIP could struggle to hold many of its seats – some were won against the background of controversy over school reorganisation which has now effectively been completed and the Tories are targeting these seats.
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Labour hopes to increase its representation on the council beyond its seats in Ipswich and Lowestoft – but could find it a challenge to progress in the more rural parts of the county.
Although nominations closed at 4pm on Tuesday, the lists of candidates do not need to be published for 24 hours to allow returning officers to ensure that all the nomination forms are filled out correctly.
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Voting will take place on May 4 with most counts taking place the following day.