Last year was the first year since 2013 when there was no election in Swindon.

But to make up for a missed year, there are at least two, and for some, three elections in one go this year.

Every ward in Swindon will be electing candidates to Swindon Borough Council this year. It should have been a year off for Chiseldon and Lawn but the recent death of deputy Mayor Brian Mattock has forced a by-election.

There are also elections for the Police and Crime Commissioner for Swindon and Wiltshire and there are elections in nine of Swindon’s parish councils - Bishopstone, Blunsdon, Central Swindon North, Covingham, Haydon Wick, Liddington, St Andrews, Wanborough and Nythe, Eldene & Liden.

There are even referendums on neighbourhood plans for voters in Blunsdon East and Stratton St Margaret.

Looking at the overall make-up of Swindon Borough Council it would appear there is some work to do for the largest opposition group, Labour, to overturn the Conservative hold on the chamber which has run for nearly 20 years.

Two deaths of sitting councillors and a resignation has complicated the picture. If every seat was filled, the ruling Conservatives would have a majority of three with 30 of 57 councillors, with Labour on 23, the Liberal Democrats with two and the Independent Tory group also with two.

Only the Conservatives and Labour are fielding a full slate of 21 candidates – there are 20 independents forming an alliance against ongoing or further Covid-19 restrictions, 16 Liberal Democrats, 15 Green, one Independent Tory, one Libertarian Party candidate and one representing the For Britain Movement.

Candidates winning seats which should have been elected last year as part of the normal cycle wills serve three years until 2024 to get back to that cycle, the second-place candidate in Wroughton & Wichelstowe will serve one year as there was just that left on the resigning councillor’s term, and the winner in the Chiseldon & Lawn by election will serve two years.

The three-in-every four years cycle will continue next year, with the next ‘fallow’ year being 2025.

For those who have applied for a postal vote but not yet sent it off, it needs to get to the returning officer by 10pm on Thursday. If you miss the last postal collection today you can deliver your postal vote before the deadline in any polling station in your ward, or to Electoral Services at the civic offices in Euclid Street. Polling stations open at 7am on Thursday and close at 10pm