Warrington's electoral system changing to tackle 'short-termism'

Warrington Town Hall Image copyright Geograph/Steve Daniels
Image caption Voters in Warrington will be able to vote for two or three councillors at once which could benefit smaller parties

The people of Warrington can get used to fewer elections after this year.

For the first time, all of the council's seats will be contested in one go on Thursday, with the next election not due until 2020.

Until now, most years have seen elections for one third of the borough's councillors.

The new system is not expected to work in favour of the party which currently dominates the authority - Labour.

More choice

There will be more choice on the ballot paper, with voters able to elect either two or three councillors at once.

Previously councillors standing for seats in the same area were elected in different years, meaning there was only ever one choice at each election.

It means there's a risk for Labour that some who voted for them in previous years may now give their second and even third votes to other parties.

Image copyright Geograph/Matt Harrop
Image caption The Liberal Democrats currently form the main opposition in Warrington, with nine councillors against Labour's 40.
Image caption The council's chief executive Steve Broomhead believes fewer elections in Warrington will lead to a more stable council

It's thought this will most likely benefit smaller parties like UKIP, the Greens and the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, although not all of them have candidates in all areas of the borough.

The Liberal Democrats currently form the main opposition, with nine councillors against Labour's 40.

The council's chief executive, Steven Broomhead, hopes fewer elections will lead to a more stable council.

He told the BBC: "It allows the party that wins and takes overall control to implement their policies on a more long-term basis, rather than worrying about the short-termism of facing elections every year."

There are no other local authority elections in Cheshire this year.

Voters are being asked to elect a police and crime commissioner, however, and you can read more about this election here.

Image caption Elections in 124 local authorities in England will take place on 5 May

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