Milton Keynes elections 2021: Why this year's election Final Scores are on a Saturday

The team in red 1; the team in blue 1. We could be describing the football results on a Saturday afternoon but 2021 has been a strange year.

And this year’s elections, when people will be voting on Thursday, May 6, will be yet another reflection of how covid has changed all our lives.

Instead of counting and declaring the results either overnight or on the next day, this year’s action will be happening over a long weekend.

The whole counting process, taking place on the ground floor of Saxon Court, is expected to take longer than usual too.

Although that could partly depend on how many people turn out to vote this time around – in 2019 between 20 per cent and 40 per cent of registered electors took part.

Milton Keynes Council and parish council votes are set to be counted from 9am on Saturday, May 8, with the borough results possibly clashing with final scores at around 5pm.

Sunday, May 9 will be a day off for the finger-weary vote counters and political observers, who will be able instead to follow all the action from MK Dons’ last game of the League One season at home against Rochdale.

The democratic action kicks off again on Monday, May 10 when the votes cast locally in the Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner poll will be added up. The actual result though will be declared over in Cherwell, Oxfordshire.

The last voting action of the day will be for the Stantonbury Neighbourhood Plan… but that shouldn’t take too long.

Voting at the 134 polling stations across the 19 wards that make up Milton Keynes borough, will also be a different experience for people who like to turn up in person to cast their cross.

Many thousands more people have this year opted to vote by post or send a proxy instead.

Masks, social distancing, one way systems, and hand sanitiser will be in place, with polling stations open from 7am to 10pm. More staff will be around than usual to control any queues and wipe down touchpoints.

Voters are also being encouraged to take their own pens and pencils to make their democratic choices – although pencils will be available.