Cast your vote in the local and mayoral elections today

Date published: 02 May 2024

Today is the day of this year's local and mayoral elections and you may be pondering which boxes you will cross – Conservative, independent, Green Labour, Labour and Co-operative, Liberal Democrat, Middleton Independents, or the Workers Party of Britain?

Locally, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats are fielding candidates in all 20 wards, as are Labour (with five representing Labour and Co-operative Party). The Workers Party is standing 13 candidates, the Greens 10, Reform two and there are also two independents.

Names absent from this year’s ballot include Peter Rush, who died earlier this year and would have been up for re-election. Four councillors are standing down; Conservatives Patricia Sullivan (Bamford) and Rina Paolucci (Wardle, Shore & West Littleborough), and Labour councillors Sara Rowbotham (North Middleton) and Peter Malcolm (West Heywood).

Council cabinet members Daniel Meredith (Balderstone & Kirkholt), Daalat Ali (Kingsway), Carol Wardle (Hopwood Hall), Susan Smith (West Middleton), and Shah Wazir (Healey) will all be fighting to keep their seats.

Who is standing in the Rochdale borough?

For the first time in the borough, the Workers Party of Britain will be fielding candidates in 13 wards following party leader George Galloway’s successful election as Rochdale MP in February.

Last month, the Workers Party issued a press release endorsing four Middleton Independent and two Lib Dem candidates as well as their own 13 candidates for the local elections.

Both parties later declared they ‘did not want to be associated’ with the Rochdale MP.

For the three Labour seats which will see a new councillor elected, Labour has put forward Paul O’Neill as its North Heywood candidate, Kath Bromfield (Labour and Co-operative) in North Middleton and former councillor Peter Joinson in West Heywood, facing opposition from the Workers Party, Reform, Lib Dems and Conservatives.

Similarly for its two seats which will see a new face, the Conservatives have chosen Adam Branton for Wardle, Shore & West Littleborough and Philip Beal in Bamford.

They will be opposed in both wards by the Lib Dems, Labour, Green, Workers Party.

Standing for the Workers Party are William ‘Billy’ Howarth, who stood against Mr Galloway as an independent in the by-election, and former Liberal Democrat councillor Farooq Ahmed.

Billy revealed he joined the party in April after meeting the MP and being convinced by his desire to improve the area.

He will be standing against Danny Meredith, Labour and Co-operative, who has held Balderstone & Kirkholt seat for a number of years, and Farooq, a former Labour councillor between 2007 and 2014, is contesting the Central ward, currently held by Labour’s Ali Ahmed. Farooq previously stood in the 2015 general election for his own party, Rochdale First, where he finished fifth.

Rochdale Liberal Democrat leader Andy Kelly will be hoping to keep his seat in Milnrow and Newhey, facing competition from the Conservatives, Labour, Workers Party and Greens.

Paul Ellison, who placed third in the Rochdale by-election, is standing for the Conservative party in Healey, whilst Iain Donaldson, the Lib Dem by-election candidate, is standing in the Hopwood Hall ward.

The Green Party is standing candidates in 10 wards – Balderstone & Kirkholt, Bamford, Castleton, Healey, Kingsway, Littleborough Lakeside, Milkstone & Deeplish, Milnrow & Newhey, Norden, and Wardle, Shore & West Littleborough.

Familiar faces hoping to be elected for the Greens include Mick Coats, Jonathan Kershaw, Mark Hollinrake, Sarah Croke, Stephen Sharp, Feruz Ali and Hannah MacGuire.

The Middleton Independents – which took five seats in the 2022 all-out election and has been on the council ever since – are contesting the four Middleton seats and Hopwood Hall, standing its former East Middleton councillor Bernard Wynne against Labour’s Dylan Williams.

Dylan was initially elected for the seat as a Middleton Independent before defecting to Labour less than three weeks later, whilst Bernard lost his seat the following year.

Also returning to hopefully win back a seat is Lee Wolf, who lost his North Middleton seat to Labour in 2023.

They are joined by previous Middleton Independent candidates Caitlin and Keeley O’Mara, and Janene Walker.

Reform UK are contesting two seats, standing Steve Potter in Hopwood Hall and Mike Howard in North Heywood.

Finally, two independent candidates, David Jones and Carl Faulkner, will be standing in Castleton, and Spotland and Falinge, respectively.

Carl has contested the Spotland and Falinge seat as an independent in previous years, whilst David has contested the Castleton seat before as an independent. David has also stood for the Conservatives in the same ward.

A full list of candidates and submitted pitches can be viewed on Rochdale Online’s election page, here:

The Greater Manchester mayoral election

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham is seeking a third-term election, contested by candidates from the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, Green Party, Reform UK and an independent.


Clockwise from top left: Dan Barker, Laura Evans, Hannah Spencer, Andy Burnham and Nick Buckley
Clockwise from top left: Dan Barker, Laura Evans, Hannah Spencer, Andy Burnham and Nick Buckley


Mr Burnham has been the city-region’s mayor since 2017, winning elections that year and in 2021. Votes were counted using the supplementary vote system, which sees the electorate choose a first- and second-preference candidate. In 2017, Mr Burnham secured 63.4% of the first votes; in 2021, he won 67.3%.

However, UK mayoral elections will no longer count votes using the supplementary vote system, instead opting for first-past-the-post, which is used in parliamentary and local elections.

First-past-the-post sees voters simply choose one candidate, with the person with the most votes declared the winner.

The mayoral candidates are:

  • Jake Austin – Liberal Democrats
  • Dan Barker – Reform UK
  • Nick Buckley – Independent
  • Andy Burnham – Labour
  • Laura Evans – Conservative
  • Hannah Spencer – Green

Their pitches can be viewed here:


The requirement to show photo ID at the polling station was introduced by the UK Government’s Elections Act which was passed last year and comes into effect for the first time this May. The Electoral Commission are running a national campaign to tell people about the change.


Voting in the local and mayoral elections

If you are planning to vote at a polling station, you will need to show photographic ID. You can use expired ID if you are still recognisable from the photo, but if you turn up without photo ID, you will not be able to vote.

Polling stations will be open from 7am until 10pm. Staff will take names and addresses to check whether people are on the register and check photo ID before voters are given a ballot paper. Voting booths ensure votes are cast in private. Staff will be on hand at the polling stations to assist if you need any help.

The following forms of photo ID will be accepted at polling stations:

  • Passport issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, a British Overseas Territory, an EEA state or a Commonwealth country (including an Irish Passport Card)
  • Photographic driver’s licence (including provisional), issued by the UK, Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or an EEA state (this includes a provisional driving licence)
  • National identity card issued by an EEA state
  • UK Biometric Residence Permit
  • An identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (PASS card)
  • Blue Badge
  • Concessionary travel pass funded by HM Government or local authority, such as an older person's bus pass or a disabled person's bus pass
  • Defence identity card

Get the full list of accepted ID at

Anyone who has a medical emergency or suddenly cannot go to the polling station due to work commitments has up to 5pm on polling day to apply for an emergency proxy vote. This allows them to nominate someone they trust to vote on their behalf.

Postal votes can be delivered in person to Number One Riverside, Smith Street, Rochdale, or your polling station up until 10pm on Thursday 2 May when polls close.

You can find your local polling station using this interactive polling station finder.



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