Welwyn Hatfield and Hertsmere candidates prepare to stand for county council elections

Polling stations opened at 7am.

Polling stations opened at 7am. - Credit: Archant

Nominations have now closed, and more than 300 political hopefuls across Herts are battling it out for a place on the county council.

In Welwyn Hatfield, candidates from the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties will stand in all eight of the council divisions within the borough.

There are 62 Green candidates standing across the county - but just one in Welwyn Hatfield, in the Welwyn division.

Elsewhere there is a candidate from the Abolish the Town Council party, who will stand in the Hatfield North division.

Hertfordshire County Council

Hertfordshire County Council - Credit: Archant

Sitting councillors Barbara Gibson (Lib Dem, Haldens), Susie Gordon (Con, Hatfield East), and Richard Smith (Con, Welwyn) are not standing on May 6.

Cllr Smith was first elected to the county council in 1993. Taking up the Conservative nomination in the Welwyn division will be Tony Kingsbury, who is currently leader of Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council.

In the 2017 county council elections three divisions in the Welwyn Hatfield area were won by the Conservatives, three by Lib Dems and two by Labour.

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There were three county council seats within the Welwyn Hatfield area in 2017, each won by a different party, with a margin of fewer than 100 votes.

The Lib Dems won the Haldens seat with 1,595, just 98 more votes than polled by the Conservatives.

In Hatfield East the Conservatives won with 1,078 votes - which was 98 more than Labour, and in Welwyn Garden City South Labour won the seat with 1,403 votes - just 71 more than the Conservatives.

Meanwhile all seven county council seats in Hertsmere are being contested by Conservative, Green, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties.

In addition there are candidates from Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts (Borehamwood North), UKIP (Borehamwood South) and independent candidate Rosemary Gilligan (Potters Bar West and Shenley).

Currently seven seats are held by Conservatives. Two of these councillors  - Susan Brown (Borehamwood North) and Alan Plancey (Borehamwood South) - will not be standing for re-election.

Across Herts County Council the Conservatives currently have a majority of 20 - holding 49 seats, compared to the Lib Dem's 18, Labour's nine and the two independents.