Coventry local elections 2024: The key battlegrounds as polling day arrives

Coventry will go to the polls to elect almost a third of the city council today (Thursday 2 May.) One fewer seat is up for grabs than usual due to a contest in Radford having to be delayed.

Here are some of the key areas to watch and issues we have heard are coming up on the doorsteps. Labour will be defending 11 of their 37 seats tomorrow, and the Conservatives six of their 15 seats.

There are several areas to keep an eye on as potential upsets or close contests. Traditionally close wards Sherbourne and Cheylesmore turned blue three years ago and Labour will be vying to win these back.

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But contests here are hard to predict, especially Sherbourne where four of the five elections have been decided by less than 100 votes. Last year Labour narrowly held both seats it was defending, by 21 votes in Sherbourne and 184 in Cheylesmore.

The party also have their sights set on Westwood, which it won from the Conservatives in 2022, and Bablake. The Conservatives are aiming to defend all their seats and build up support for the 2026 "all-out" elections.

Other wards in the city that Labour are defending could also be close-fought. In Holbrook, the Greens are hoping to win their third seat in a row.

However, this year the party faces a Labour incumbent, and last year the contest was close run, coming down to 100 votes. Over in Foleshill the contest came down to 60 votes between Labour and an independent in 2022.

A polling station sign in Coventry
A polling station sign in Coventry -Credit:Ellie Brown

Last year there were no independents, but this year two are standing. The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has stood down in the ward in support of one, Ferhan Azad Kiani, who managed the independent candidate's campaign two years ago.

In Binley and Willenhall the Coventry Citizens party is hoping to win its first seat on the council. The party founded five years ago came second to Labour here last year although the gap was more than 400 votes.

The Liberal Democrats are focusing on Earlsdon where their vote share increased in September from 7% to 15%, though they were still in third place. TUSC believes it could see its best result in St Michael's ward where it came third with 8% of the vote last year.

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