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Candidates and agents at local elections in England and Wales

This page contains all the guidance and resources that you need if you are a candidate or agent at local elections in England and Wales. 

An overview document gives instructions on how to use this guidance and who does what at these elections. Read the Overview for candidates and agents (PDF) >

Click here for the 2016 timetable for the local government elections in England.

Latest updates

  • Updated guidance published

    31-03-2015

    Last year, the Government changed the candidate spending limits at local elections in England and Wales. This change came into force on 4 August 2014.  Our guidance mentioned the coming into force date.  As the spending limits are now in force we have removed the wording that refers to 4 August 2014.

    The spending limit is £740 plus 6p for each elector.


  • Changes to candidates’ personal expenses

    15-07-2014

    The Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014 has made changes to candidates’ personal expenses in local elections in England and Wales. 

    From 1 July 2014, personal expenses will not count towards a candidate’s spending limit. Our guidance on spending and the associated forms will be available shortly.

Part 2a

Standing as an independent candidate

This part covers:

  • Completing and submitting your nomination papers
  • Being nominated in more than one ward
  • What happens after the close of nominations?
  • Appointing your election agent and other agents
  • What happens if a candidate dies?

Part 2a: Standing as an independent candidate (PDF)

Part 2b

Standing as a party candidate

This part covers:

  • Completing and submitting your nomination papers
  • Nomination in more than one ward
  • What happens after the close of nominations
  • Appointing your election agent and other agents
  • What happens if a candidate dies?

Part 2b: Standing as a party candidate (PDF)

Part 4

The campaign

This part covers:

  • Campaigning dos and don'ts
  • Using the electoral register and absent voters' lists
  • Using schools and rooms for public meetings
  • Imprints on campaign publicity material
  • Polling day dos and don'ts
  • Reporting allegations of electoral malpractice

Part 4: The campaign (PDF)

Part 5

Your right to attend key electoral events

This part covers:

  • Attending the opening of postal votes and what to expect
  • Attending polling stations and what to expect
  • Attending the count and what to expect

Part 5: Your right to attend key electoral events (PDF)

Candidate or agent