RESIDENTS in Stratford are going to the the polls today (Thursday).
More than 100 stations across the district will be open until 10pm as voters elect Stratford’s next MP.
Conservative Nadhim Zahawi is looking to defend the seat he first won back in 2010 with an 11,326 majority.
He is up against Lib Dem Elizabeth Adams, Labour’s Jeff Kenner, UKIP’s Edward Fila and Dominic Giles of the Green Party.
Candidates have spent the last few weeks campaigning and attending various debates across the district in a bid to convince residents they are the right person for the job.
The result of the Stratford seat is expected to be declared in the early hours of tomorrow morning (Friday) with the count taking place at Stratford Leisure Centre.
And the make-up of the district council could also be in for a shake-up as along with the General Election, Stratford District Council will be holding all-out district council elections for the first time ever.
In the past a system of ‘election by thirds’ was used, which meant 18 of the authority’s 53 district councillors went up for election each year for three consecutive years with no election in the fourth year.
But following an electoral review, the number of seats on the council has been slashed from 53 to just 36.
It means each ward will now be represented by a single member – where previously there could have been two or three – with elections held once every four years.
More than 150 people have put their hat in the ring to contest the 36 district council seats on offer – 41 of whom are existing councillors looking to either win back their former seat or stand for election in another ward.
Results of the district council elections are expected to be announced sometime tomorrow afternoon (Friday).
And there are also a number of parish council elections set to take place, the results of which will be available on Saturday.
The action is expected to kick off at the leisure centre from 10pm tonight and Observer Deputy Editor Laura Maltby will be there bringing you the latest.
For all the elections results and reaction as soon as it comes in, visit our website www.stratfordobserver.co.uk or follow us on Twitter @strat_observer.