NICOLA Sturgeon, Boris Johnson and other political leaders are joining millions of voters casting their ballots in elections across the UK.

Council seats are up for grabs in Scotland, Wales, London and many parts of England, while Northern Ireland is electing its new Assembly.

Sturgeon, and her Labour rival, Anas Sarwar, voted in Glasgow.

The First Minister visited her local polling station in Baillieston, accompanied by her husband, SNP chief executive, Peter Murrell.

She met SNP candidates, Alex Kerr and Lauren Martin, on Thursday, having already voted by post.

Sturgeon chatted and took selfies with some voters outside and held their baby.

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Earlier, Sarwar voted at the polling station at Pollokshields Burgh Hall in Glasgow.

Sarwar, who was accompanied by his wife Furheen Sarwar, handed in a postal vote he had completed.

Scottish Green co-leader, Patrick Harvie, also voted in Glasgow, taking the opportunity to back his party’s candidate in the Partick East and Kelvindale ward.

Fellow Green co-leader, Lorna Slater, cast her vote in Edinburgh, with Scottish LibDem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton also voting in the capital.

Scottish Conservative leader, Douglas Ross, wished all his party’s candidates good luck, as he voted in Moray.

Former first minister and Alba party leader, Alex Salmond, meanwhile, cast his ballot at the polling station in Strichen, Aberdeenshire.

Welsh FM Mark Drakeford wore a red tie for Labour as he cast his ballot in Cardiff.

Johnson arrived at a polling station in Westminster on foot early on Thursday morning, appearing in good spirits despite predictions that the Conservatives could lose hundreds of council seats.

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The Prime Minister, showing his party colours with a light blue tie and shirt, waved to reporters on his way in and out of Methodist Central Hall.

One member of the public looked perplexed at the commotion, wondering aloud: “Is that Simon Cowell?”

After voting, Johnson tweeted a video in which he said he voted for his party because “it’s Conservatives who deliver, Conservatives who get the bins collected”.

READ MORE: Scottish Tories set for major losses in Scottish council elections, poll finds

Sir Keir Starmer voted at a polling station in Kentish Town, north London, in the ballot for Camden Council.

The Labour leader tweeted afterwards: “Today is our chance to send the Tories a message they can’t ignore: Britain deserves better”.

The National: Keir Starmer arrives at the polling station with his wife Victoria Keir Starmer arrives at the polling station with his wife Victoria

Sir Ed Davey, casting his vote at Surbiton Methodist Church in south-west London, said the Conservatives will be punished in the local elections for their handling of the cost-of-living crisis.

Wearing a lapel badge of the Union and Ukrainian flags, the LibDem leader arrived on foot, having made the walk from his constituency office where he passed a hearse with its back door open.

The LibDems are hopeful of causing an upset in Hull by dislodging it from Labour’s control, while also vying for victory against the Tories in places such as Wokingham and Sutton.

The Kingston and Surbiton MP said while taking Hull City Council could be a “problem” because “it’s in the north and it’s against Labour”, there is still a possibility of doing so, joking: “We have an affinity with Kingston-Upon-Hull, we’re in Kingston-Upon-Thames.”

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The Conservatives will find out in the coming days as votes are tallied whether they will be made to pay the price for the so-called partygate saga in Downing Street, which has seen Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak fined for breaking coronavirus laws.

A former Conservative minister revealed that he voted Labour for the first time since Tony Blair’s 1997 general election landslide.

Nick Boles, a former MP for Grantham and Stamford who left the Conservative Party in 2019, tweeted: “First time I’ve voted Labour since an equally glorious May morning in 1997.”

Tory supporters are likely to anxiously be watching out for results in true-blue London local authorities such as Wandsworth – under Conservative control for the past 44 years, Westminster and Barnet, where pollsters YouGov believe Labour could cause an upset.

As well as partygate, the Tories have been hit with a string of other controversies, including former Wakefield MP Imran Ahmad Khan being found guilty of sexually assaulting a teenage boy and veteran MP Neil Parish quitting after admitting he watched pornography in the Commons.

READ MORE: Independence supporters urged to 'vote till you boak' as Scots head to the polls

Meanwhile, there have been Tory calls for Durham Police to look into whether Starmer broke Covid rules while campaigning before the 2021 Hartlepool by-election.

But the Labour leader claims it is a “smear” to suggest he breached the regulations while having “a takeaway and a beer while I was working late at night”.

In England, more than 4000 councillors in 146 councils are standing for election in major cities including Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham and all 32 London boroughs.

All 32 councils in Scotland and all 22 in Wales are also holding elections, with polls open between 7am and 10pm.

Meanwhile, tensions are high in Northern Ireland for the Stormont election, where voters are going to the polls across 18 constituencies to elect 90 MLAs.

Opinion polls have suggested Sinn Fein is likely to top the poll, while the Alliance Party is tipped to see a surge in support.