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Get election results and reaction with sthelensstar.co.uk
VOTERS go to the polls today for the general and local elections - and Star readers can follow all the results and reaction as they happen on sthelensstar.co.uk .
Our reporting team will bring you the latest from St Helens town hall during the early hours of Friday morning as it emerges who will be the two MPs for the borough’s constituencies.
While nationally the general election has had blanket coverage – soaring to new levels following the leaders’ TV debates – locally the campaigns have appeared remarkably low-key.
With the Labour candidates Dave Watts (St Helens North) and Shaun Woodward (the re-shaped St Helens South and Whiston constituency) both defending healthy majorities, the town has been spared the election spotlight that has fallen on neighbouring areas such as Warrington and Liverpool, where the seats are seen as up for grabs.
The Liberal Democrats are hoping to make inroads in St Helens South, where council leader Brian Spencer is standing for the fifth time.
Lib Dems are hoping the increased profile of their national leader Nick Clegg will swell its vote locally.
The Conservatives, meanwhile, again field two new candidates for St Helens, in the shape of Paul Greenall and Val Allen.
And the likes of UKIP and the Socialist Labour Party are aiming to capitalise on any disillusionment voters may have with the three larger parties.
Meanwhile, the balance of power for the local elections remains delicately poised and the results in several key wards are likely to determine whether a Lib Dem/Tory alliance can stave off Labour’s pursuit of regaining the grip on St Helens Town Hall.
The local election campaign has been played out against a backdrop of smears and alleged dirty tricks.
sthelensstar.co.uk will have general election news and reaction from St Helens Town Hall from the early hours of Friday. Local election results come in later that afternoon.