It has already been a stormy campaign in Pendle, where the Lib Dems are hoping to hold on to their big majority and make it five years in control of the borough.

The police have confirmed that they are investigating allegations of electoral fraud, against a Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate and a Labour council candidate.

Despite the Lib Dems' lead, it could be a tough night for the ruling group as 12 of their 28 seats are up for election.

If just four of them change hands, the party would lose overall control, leading to a hung council and the possibility of power-sharing arrangements by rival parties.

A total of 17 spots are up for grabs on May 1, including two in Boulsworth ward.

Council leader Alan Davies defends his seat against the challenge of Tory county councillor Mike Calvert, who beat Coun Davies in the county council elections in 2005.

And Nelson committee chairman Coun David Foster will battle Labour's Eileen Ansar in his Cloverhill ward - the two recently clashed at a committee meeting over shops in Nelson town centre.

The British National Party is fielding candidates in Craven, Marsden Vivary Bridge and Waterside, and two independents, Ian Robinson (Waterside) and Glenn Whittaker (Craven) are standing.

The Conservatives are defending four seats.

Labour will be hoping to hang on to Vivary Bridge in Colne, where David Whalley is standing down after eight years in the town hall.

Another four councillors are standing down.