It is perhaps a reflection of the increasing divide in British politics that more parties - from across a wider spectrum of political positions - are contesting the local elections in Swindon this year than before.

The three main parties - Labour, Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats - have a full slate of 20 candidates, while the Green Party is putting up candidates in half the wards.

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition which would itself agree is to the left of Keir Starmer’s Labour Party is putting up five candidates.

 That’s more than double the two candidates the party fielded in 2023. Rob Pettefar is having another crack at Lydiard & Freshbrook where he came fourth last year, as did Scott Hunter, who will stand again in Covingham & Dorcan.

The party will also field candidates in the Labour strongholds of Old Town, Gorse Hill & Pinehurst and Central wards.

The sole Reform party candidate Bob Wheeler is standing in Liden, Elden & Park South, which has normally been a Labour-trending ward, although it has had two Conservative councillors in recent years.

 Vintur Fernandes is an independent candidate standing in Central ward, where he shares a surname with the sitting candidate Lourenco Fernandes.