The fate of 116 council seats in Surrey are up for grabs as voters head to the polls on Thursday, May 2.

There are 11 boroughs and districts in the county, with widespread voting taking place in six – Elmbridge, Mole Valley, Reigate & Banstead, Runnymede, Tandridge and Woking.

There is also a by-election for two seats on Waverley Borough Council.

There are no local council elections this year in Epsom & Ewell, Guildford, Spelthorne, and Surrey Heath borough councils.

With a general election less than a year away, this vote will be viewed in some quarters as a significant bellwether for the race for Downing Street.

Counting will begin on Friday, May 3.

The first results are expected to come out of Woking Borough Council at 4pm, followed by Runnymede and Tandridge at 5pm. Mole Valley and Reigate and Banstead councils are predicted to declare by 6pm with Elmbridge tellers expected to be wrapped up by 6.30pm.

Do I need photo ID?

Yes – you need to bring valid photo identification in order to vote this year.

Valid IDs include expired official documents such as passports that still have a strong resemblance. Voters without an accepted ID can apply for the free Voter Authority Certificate – a fast-track card that will allow people to vote.

Your guide to the May 2 Local Elections in Surrey – borough by borough (ordered alphabetically):

Elmbridge Borough Council

Number of seats up for election: 16

Election result expected: 6.30pm Friday, May 3.

Largest party: Liberal Democrats

There are 48 seats in total on Elmbridge Borough Council with 16, one-third of the total, up for grabs on May 2.

The Liberal Democrats have 20 councillors, Residents’ Associations, 16, and the Conservatives, 12.

The Liberal Democrats became the largest party in the borough, overtaking their coalition partners – Residents’ Association – last year in a borough that has been historically Conservative.

The Esher and Walton parliamentary constituency largely covers Elmbridge and is represented by Dominic Raab, who resigned from the cabinet on April 21.  He later announced he would quit as MP at the next general election.

Mole Valley District Council

Number of seats up for election: 14

Election result expected: 6pm Friday, May 3.

Largest party: Liberal Democrats

A boundary review last year led to all-out elections across the borough, delivering a sweeping victory for the Liberal Democrats.

This year, Mole Valley District Council reverts to electing its members by thirds across its 13 wards.

In Capel, Leigh, Newdigate and Charlwood voters will be sending two representatives, bringing the total elected this year to 14 as they replace the seat formerly held by Lesley Bushnell, In total there are 39 councillors in the district.

The council is currently controlled by the Liberal Democrats who have 29 elected members. The opposition is formed from six informal independents and three Conservatives.

At a national level the Conservative Mole Valley MP since 1997, Sir Paul Beresford, said he will not stand in the next general election.

Reigate and Banstead Borough Council

Number of seats up for election: 16

Election result expected: 6pm Friday, May 3.

Largest party: Conservative

The Conservatives, with 22 councillors, are the single largest party in Reigate and Banstead but do not have overall control of the borough council.

In the 2023 election, the Tories lost seats to the Green Party, which now has 11 councillors and Labour, one. The rest of the authority is made up of five Residents’ Association, three Lib Dems, two independents.

Voting takes place in each of the borough’s 15 wards with one person elected in each. The exception is in Tattenham Corner and Preston where, to fill a vacancy, two members will be elected.

Runnymede Borough Council

Number of seats up for election: 15

Election result expected: 5pm Friday, May 3.

Largest party: Conservative

Runnymede Borough Council went to no overall control in 2023 but has had a Conservative leader ever since its formation in 1974.

Going into this May’s election there are 18 Conservative councillors, six Runnymede Independent Residents Group, five independents, four Labour, four Liberal Democrats, two Green Party, and one Reform UK – after former Tory and current deputy mayor Robert Bromley crossed the floor.

Runnymede is one of the three Surrey councils, the others being Spelthorne and Woking, torank in the top five nationally for local authorities with the largest average debt per resident.

The MP for the area – which also includes Weybridge in neighbouring Elmbridge, is Ben Spencer. He was elected in 2019 with 54.9 per cent of the vote, ahead of Labour candidate Robert King, 20.6 per cent.

Waverley Borough Council

Number of seats up for election: 1

Election result expected: Early Friday, May 3.

Largest party: Liberal Democrats

Waverley Borough Council has 50 councillors across 24 wards that are voted for in an “all out” elections where every seat is decided.

This year, however, is the much smaller matter of the race for the vacant Witley and Milford, and Farnham Castle borough seats in two May 2 by-elections.

The last all-out vote was in 2023 when the council remained in no overall control.

The Liberal Democrats are the largest party with 22 councillors and are in coalition with the Farnham Residents’ 13 members, Labour’s two officials and the single representative of the Green Party.

There are 10 councillors on the Conservative opposition and a further two independent members.

The MP representing the greatest number of people who call Waverley Borough Council home is the chancellor Jeremy Hunt.

The 57-year-old MP was first elected to the South West Surrey constituency in May 2005.

Woking Borough Council

Number of seats up for election: 11

Election result expected: 4pm, Friday, May 3.

Largest party: Liberal Democrats

Woking Borough Council votes in thirds – with one councillor elected in each of its 10 wards.

A by-election to fill the vacancy in Hoe Valley to bring the total number of seats decided up to 11.

Voters in Woking began to turn their backs on the Conservatives after its financial problems became clear. The borough had a Tory leader from 2007 up until 2022 when the Liberal Democrats took control.

Going into the May 2024 local elections the Lib Dems hold 19 of the 30 potential seats on the council with the four Conservatives making up the official opposition group.

The rest of the council is made up of four independent members, two from Labour and one vacant seat.

MP Jonathan Lord, who assumed office in 2010, was given a vote of confidence by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to hold his seat in the next General Election.

Tandridge District Council

Number of seats up for election: 43

When is the election result expected: 5pm Friday, May 3.

Largest party: Residents’ Alliance

Every seat on Tandridge District Council will be decided when voters go to the polls on May 2.

This year there will be 43 councillors returned to 18 wards, up from the current number of 42 – after the Local Government Boundary Commission for England redrew the electoral map.

Previously the council elected its members by thirds.

Currently Tandridge Distrcit Council is led by the Residents’ Alliance, which holds 18 seats. The Liberal Democrats, 11, Conservative nine and Independent Group, four, comprise the rest of the council.

The nearest matching parliamentary constituency is East Surrey, currently held by the energy secretary Claire Coutinho after she was elected in 2019.