THE counting of the votes has begun for Trafford's local and European elections.

No results have been announced yet, but turnout for the local elections was 40 per cent, while 38 per cent of voters turned out for the European elections.

This is a slight improvement on the last election, held in 2012, when the local turnout was 37 per cent.

All candidates are currently at the George H Carnall Leisure Centre, in Urmston, where the count is taking place.

All three leaders of Trafford's main political parties spoke to Messenger prior to the results being announced.

Leader it Trafford Conservatives and Trafford Council, Cllr Sean Anstee, said: "There's been some tough fights out there and there's going to be some tough results."

Leader of Trafford Labour group, Cllr David Acton, said: "Obviously we're remaining positive, it's been a positive campaign and what we're waiting for now is the results."

While leader of Trafford's Liberal Democrats, Cllr Ray Bowker, said the vote seems to have been 'considerably different than other years', citing 'a lot of apathy on the doorsteps', as well as the impact of UKIP.

However, Cllr Anstee said he did not feel UKIP had not really campaigned in Trafford, but expressed his desire that they should not split the vote.

Both Cllr Anstee and Cllr Acton said bringing the Metrolink to Trafford Park and Manchester Airport would be one if their main priorities if they were to take control of the council.

Cllr Acton addressed accusations from Conservatives that Labour would abolish grammar schools if they took back control of the council.

"We were in control for 10 years and maintained support from grammar schools, we support all our schools."

Cllr Bowker acknowledged the possibility of the Liberal Democrats entering a coalition if no party took overall control, but said certain conditions must first be met, particularly ending privatisation of services.

The first results are expected soon.