Whether it was the flexibility of working from home, an increase in postal votes or the many ballot papers, voters turned out in bigger numbers this week and shook up Sheffield Council.
It was pushed to no overall control for the first time in a decade by the Green Party and Liberal Democrats.
Sheffield Labour not only lost control of the council with defeats in eight seats – five to the Greens and three to the Liberal Democrats – but lost its leader Bob Johnson.
It is yet to be decided exactly how no overall control will work for the council, the parties will need to come up with a plan together.
Ecclesall had the highest turnout of any ward in Sheffield, with 54 percent, that is an increase of about five percent on the last local election.
The lowest turnout was in City ward with just 18 percent but this was an increase of around four percent on the ward’s turnout at the 2019 local elections.
The only ward that saw much of a drop in turnout was Nether Edge and Sharrow, it had 40.3 percent, down about four percent on the last local election.
Kate Josephs, returning officer and chief executive of the council, confirmed yesterday that the number of postal vote applications increased by around 15,000 this year, bringing Sheffield’s total to about 95,000 registered postal voters.
Following the count today, she said: “This year’s elections will go down in history, with teams across the country working tirelessly to deliver a safe and accurate election. I want to say a massive thank you to them, and to everyone – however they voted – for playing their part in Sheffield’s democracy.”
As well as city councillors, residents voted on a referendum on how the council is run and a police and crime commissioner for South Yorkshire.
Some in Ecclesfield also voted for parish councillors and those living in Broomhill, Broomfield, Endcliffe, Summerfield or Tapton voted on a referendum on whether to adopt a neighbourhood plan.
The results of the referendums and police and crime commissioner will be announced on Monday, May 10.