There might be some very important local elections going on today, but let’s be honest, we only care about adorable dogs at polling stations.
With votes being cast in 248 English councils outside London, and 11 local authority areas in Northern Ireland, people lined up to cast their votes, and brought their four-legged friends along for the ride.
The hashtag #DogsAtPollingStations took off again on Twitter, following what has now become a tradition on election days.
Holly Nicholson, from Lancashire, who has owned her dog for a year, said: ‘I like to get her out and about as much as possible. As a young woman I think it’s so important to have your say and get your vote in.’
The hashtag has been popular for several years, with people often choosing to combine walking their dog with casting their vote.
However, dogs may not be allowed in buildings being used as polling stations, and, if they are, they must be kept on a lead at all times.
Louise Timlin, a WEP candidate for Evendons ward in Wokingham, Berkshire, joined in with the hashtag using a slightly different animal.
Don’t Let Your Dog Ride in the Back of Your Truck Unrestrained. An estimated 100,000 dogs die each year from riding in pickup beds each year, and that doesn’t take into account all of the injuries seen each year. Dogs in pickup beds are also at risk of being hit with debris that can cause injuries.
She created a new trend, #HamstersAtPolling station, saying: ‘When you don’t have a #DogsAtPollingStations.’
Politicians also welcomed the hashtag, which crops up at almost every UK election.
Labour MP Jess Phillips said: ‘A steady stream of these today if you don’t mind. We don’t have local elections in Birmingham so I feel excluded.’
Polls opened at 7am on May 2 and will close at 10pm.
Counting will take place overnight in about 120 areas but will be carried out during the following day in others, with the last result not expected until about 9pm on Friday.
Nearly 60% of the 8,425 seats up for grabs in England are currently Conservative, with a quarter held by Labour.