GOVERNMENT officials across the UK have discussed the nations “jumping together” to push the May 6 Super-Thursday elections back a month to June 3 because of the uncertainty over the rate of progress against the coronavirus.

Whitehall sources have suggested that while no decision has yet been made, practical advantages were seen in shifting the date back a month in the hope that the UKwide vaccination programme would have had time to open up society more to allow some normal campaigning to take place and give better assurance to voters that it would be safe to visit polling stations.

This afternoon in the Commons, Labour’s Cat Smith has tabled an Urgent Question to Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office Minister, about the May 6 elections, which would be the first electoral test of the various administrations’ handling of the pandemic.

These polls include not only ones for the Scottish and Welsh Parliaments but also elections for local councils in England, local mayors and police commissioners south of the border as well as elections to the London Assembly and for the London Mayor.

Ms Smith’s Labour colleagues Andrew Gwynne accused the Conservatives of using coronavirus as a justification for “fixing the dates” of the Super-Thursday elections in England to benefit them.

“This isn’t about the pandemic, it is about Boris Johnson trying to get a vaccine bump at the next set of elections,” claimed the former Shadow Local Government Secretary.

One Government source pointed to the possibility of a month’s postponement, saying: “There was quite a bit of sympathy about all of us having the ability to jump together as officials in different parts of the country are facing the same issues. There has been quite a bit of contact on this across the nations but no decision has yet been made.”

Last week, Nicola Sturgeon said she could see “no reason” why the Scottish Parliamentary elections – under the control of Holyrood - “at this stage” should not go ahead as planned for May.

The First Minister pointed out that there had been “elections in many other countries over the course of the pandemic”.

However, Neil Findlay, the Scottish Labour MSP, said while it depressed him to think the Scottish poll could be delayed, he admitted he could “not see[how] it can possibly go ahead under the current circumstances”.

Opinion polls have repeatedly pointed to an SNP majority in Edinburgh and some Nationalist politicians are nervous about squandering an electoral window of opportunity.

Given that the local elections in England were postponed last year due to the pandemic, there is a deal of political pressure on the UK Government to hold them in May; however, a month’s delay might be regarded as acceptable. Yet what councils want is clarity. Boris Johnson has indicated that south of the border the May 6 elections were now “under review”.

Andy Burnham, the Greater Manchester Mayor, who is up for re-election, has made clear that, if the May 6 polls went ahead, they should be restricted to postal voting on safety grounds.

Tory MP Steve Brine, who made clear he had been talking to Conservative Central Office about a delay, has insisted the May 6 polls in England will “almost certainly” be postponed while Labour’s Meg Hillier, who chairs the Commons Public Accounts Committee, said she could not see "any option but for some delay".

In Wales, Mark Drakeford, the First Minister, made clear he was "committed" to the May polling date but wanted to "allow some flexibility" with the prospect of a new law enable a postponement if one were needed.