Polls open for voters in Norwich and Great Yarmouth

More than 150,000 people will have the opportunity to vote in Norwich and Great Yarmouth today.

The shoes of the candidates have been worn down, the doors hammered on and the leaflets pushed through the letterboxes.

And after weeks of campaiging, polling stations are open until 10pm for the 102,297 people eligible to vote in Norwich and more than 50,000 in Great Yarmouth.

There is plenty to play for in the Norwich City Council elections, with 15 seats up for grabs in all 13 of the city's wards. No party has had overall control at City Hall since 2004, with Labour currently running the council as a minority administration.

In last year's city council elections, it was Labour and the Greens which made gains. With national polls predicting Labour will do well nationwide, they will be eyeing the opportunity to take overall control of City Hall.

However, the Greens have been working hard to retain their key seats while trying to make gains elsewhere.

The Liberal Democrats, who could be in for a tough night nationally, will be keen to at least retain their current four seats.

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The Conservatives, whose only two current city councillors are not standing in these elections, will want to ensure they still have a presence at City Hall, while the sole Ukip candidate hopes to do well in Lakenham.

Ahead of these elections – and the two by-elections in Catton Grove and Wensum triggered by resignations – the make-up of the city council was Labour (18), Green Party (15), Liberal Democrats (four), Conservatives (two).

In Yarmouth, a third of the 39 seats on the Conservative-controlled council are up for election.

The current make-up of the council is 22 Conservatives, 16 Labour and one Independent.

Both council leader Steve Ames and his deputy, Charles Reynolds, are among those battling to retain their seats.

Ukip is contesting all 13 seats, with elections in the following wards: Bradwell North; Bradwell South and Hopton; Central and Northgate; Claydon; East Flegg; Gorleston; Magdalen; Nelson; Ormesby; St Andrews; Southtown and Cobholm; West Flegg; and Yarmouth North.

Some 180 councils in England, Scotland and Wales are holding contests for all or some of their seats today, while in the capital, Conservative Boris Johnson is battling against Labour's Ken Livingstone to be re-elected as London Mayor.

Referendums are also being held on whether to introduce mayors in a series of major cities.

To find out where your polling station is, visit www.norwich.gov.uk or www.great-yarmouth.gov.uk

Visit the EDP website at www.edp24.co.uk tonight for the results and get the EDP on Saturday for full analysis.

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