(London) “Tories are distancing themselves from Boris Johnson”, The Guardian reads. “Tories turn their backs on Westminster” in the hope of regaining votes, the conservative daily The Times reports along the lines. It is the distance that Conservative MPs across the country have decided to keep from PM Boris Johnson that makes the headlines in the UK press devoted to the elections today. From 7am, polling stations are open for voters to elect 4,350 councillors in over 140 UK councils, including major cities such as London, Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham, and in 32 Scottish councils and 22 Welsh councils. 90 members to the Northern Ireland Assembly are also to be elected. According to the London i Newspaper (selling 145,000 copies), Tories cannot lose more than 350 seats if they are to avoid defeat. “Defeat looms for Tories in Scotland as they make last-ditch plea with voters angry over partygate” is the headline in the conservative Telegraph. The weekly New Statesman dedicates its front page to the “Braveheart” nation, with Scottish nationalist leader Nicola Sturgeon partly submerged by water and a British submarine floating on the surface. The newspaper unpacks the Sturgeon’s “dilemma” explaining that the SNP leader promised a second independence referendum even though the majority of Scots, 53%, are against it, as was already the case in 2014.