Guidance and resources on how to comply with the rules on spending for candidates and agents at the local government elections in Northern Ireland

We have produced a document for people who want to know the basics about elections, the roles of different organisations and where to find more information. 

If you are looking for guidance on standing for election in Northern Ireland please visit the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland website.

Visit the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland website

Notional spending update Elections Act

Under the Elections Act 2022, two changes have been made to the legislation on candidate spending rules:

  • Definition of ‘use on behalf a candidate’ in notional spending
  • Making payments for local campaigning

The changes came into force on 24 November 2022. For more details, please see Understanding changes to the spending rules.

Candidate and agent advice surgeries

Candidate and agent advice surgeries

We are running advice surgeries for candidates and agents to answer your questions on the spending and donation rules and completing your candidate spending return. The surgeries will take place in May and June after close of nominations and after polling day. If you would like to book a slot please complete this form.

Pre-election seminars

Our pre-election seminars have now taken place. The presentation slides are available below.

Guidance about harassment and intimidation

Guidance about harassment and intimidation

Robust political debate is part of a healthy democracy, but sometimes things can go too far.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland, working with the Public Prosecution Service, the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland and the Electoral Commission, have produced a guide for candidates standing in local elections, to help you understand when behaviour goes beyond political debate and may be unlawful. This guide is called 'Joint Guidance for Candidates in Elections - When it goes too far’.

If you feel that behaviour towards you may be unlawful or are concerned for your safety or that of others, you should always contact the police.