Polls close and counting begins in local elections across England and Wales

polling station sign and Parliament Square bus

Polls have now closed in local elections across England and Wales.

Millions of votes have been cast for 107 councils and 11 mayors in England, as well as 37 police and crime commissioners (PCCs).

There has also been a by-election for a new MP in Blackpool South, following the resignation of former Conservative Scott Benton.

Counting has begun and the first results are expected just after midnight.

The results will be seen as the final test of public opinion before Rishi Sunak sets a date for the general election later this year.

More on the UK local elections

With the Conservatives trailing 15 to 20 points behind Labour for the last six months, Tories are braced for poor results.

The scale of the Conservative losses will give an indication of whether Labour could get a foot in the door of Downing Street - or whether the Tories can mount an electoral fightback.

If the results are particularly bad for the Conservatives, Tory MPs unhappy with Mr Sunak's leadership could begin moves to replace him with another leader.

Both Labour and Conservatives are defending about 1,000 council seats each.

Losing 480 seats would match the Conservatives' worst local elections result in 1995 - two years before Labour's landslide general election win.

In terms of winning control of councils, watch for Redditch, in Worcestershire and Harlow, in Essex potentially changing hands from Tories to Labour.

Click here to see the BBC interactive

Some councils count overnight Thursday into Friday but others wait until morning, so results will continue to come in over the weekend, with the last due on Sunday afternoon.

The winner of the Blackpool South by-election is expected to be announced in the early hours of Friday morning.

Mayoral results - including those in Greater London, West Midlands and Greater Manchester - will be announced on Friday and Saturday.

London Assembly election declarations will also come through on Saturday.

A few final results for police commissioners and councils are expected on Sunday.

There are no elections in Scotland or Northern Ireland.