Voters go to the polls in York today (May 4) - with all the signs indicating that the battle for political control of the city will be a close one.

All 47 of the city council's seats are up for election.

That means that, to take overall control of the council, a party must win 24 seats.

Up until today, the Liberal Democrats were the biggest party in York, with 21 seats. That still left them short of an overall majority, which is why for the last four years they have run the authority in coalition with the Greens, who had three seats.

Labour had 17 seats, the Conservatives two, and independents four.

That could all change today. Some well-known councillors are not standing again, and have been replaced as candidates by newer faces. And while the Liberal Democrats will be hoping to strengthen their hold on the city, Labour also have hopes of seizing control.

The Press asked each of the four main parties how many seats they realistically hoped to win today (May 4).

The Liberal Democrats declined to put a figure on the number.

But group leader Nigel Ayre said: "Despite the pandemic, inflation, cost of living crisis and the drying up of government funds, the 21 Lib Dem councillors have been the champions of their communities.

"We have delivered for the whole city, from unlocking the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of the York Central project, delivering hundreds of new homes, building a fantastic new stadium, delivering a Local Plan and so much more.

"We are determined to continue improving the services that matter to residents. If you want a council focussed on your local community, frontline services and York’s future, vote Liberal Democrat."

Labour has more open about its target today.

"York Labour needs to retain the 17 seats that we are currently trusted with, and gain another seven to take control of the council," said group leader Claire Douglas.

"Early indications lead us to be quietly confident that residents are ready for change, ready to trust a hardworking and highly motivated Labour team of councillors and welcome a new council leader providing visible and clear leadership the city is constantly calling for."

The Greens, too, say they hope to increase the number of seats they hold.

"With three Greens on the council we have already really punched well above our weight," said group leader Andy D'Agorne. "(We) have a serious prospect of doubling this to six, but a really strong turn out for the Greens could see us with eight or nine seats." The Conservatives, meanwhile, say they hope to win 'as many seats as possible'.

"We obviously have in mind the seats we have the best chance in but make no predictions about how many councillors we will have," said group leader Paul Doughty.

"We have a full slate of candidates, giving the citizens of York an opportunity of voting for hardworking local Conservative councillors for a better-run council."