Boris Johnson has been accused of seeking to delay May’s local elections to the Tories can get a ‘vaccine bump’ from voters.
But fears have been raised for the safety of party activists canvassing door-to-door, and that of polling station staff.
Labour has called for them to go ahead, saying other countries have been able to safety hold elections during the pandemic.
Last November hundreds of millions of people voted in the US presidential election, won by Joe Biden.
Andrew Gwynne, the shadow local government secretary, said: ‘Countries across the world have held elections. But sadly the Conservatives are now using coronavirus as a justification for fixing the dates of ours 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.’
Boris Johnson has been accused of seeking to delay May’s local elections to the Tories can get a ‘vaccine bump’ from voters
Almost 40 million people are due to go to the polls on May 6 for votes including for the mayor of London that were delayed from May 2020 because of the first lockdown.
Labour mayor Sadiq Khan is among those pressing for the elections to go ahead. He is the overwhelming favourite to get a second term, with Conservative Shaun Bailey currently lagging in the polls
Conservative candidates are believed to have requested polls be held in October if they are delayed until past July because they fear it will be hard to find activists willing to go door-to-door in August.
But July and September are also dates that have been mooted.
This years polls, the biggest for years, will see seats free in more than 140 councils – including 118 that should have been voted on last year.
Some 13 mayoral contests are also due to take place including in Greater Manchester and London.
Scotland has already introduced a law to make it possible to delay assembly elections and Wales is planning on doing something similar.
Labour mayor Sadiq Khan is among those pressing for the elections to go ahead.
He is the overwhelming favourite to get a second term, with Conservative Shaun Bailey currently lagging in the polls.
A Labour source told the Times: ‘The prime minister has promised the most vulnerable people will be vaccinated against Covid-19 by mid- February, which means there is no legitimate reason to consider postponing the elections.
‘Countries around the world have managed to hold elections during the pandemic safely, including the US presidential election.’