Guidance for (Acting) Returning Officers administering a UK Parliamentary election in Great Britain

Processing nominations

Determining nomination and home address forms after formal delivery

A candidate who delivers completed nomination papers by the required deadline will be deemed nominated unless:

  • you decide that the nomination form is invalid
  • a candidate dies or withdraws before the deadline1  

You must determine the validity of a nomination form and home address form as soon as possible after formal delivery. This enables candidates whose nominations have been deemed invalid to submit new papers before the close of nominations. 

For elections taking place on or after 2 May 2024, the Elections Act 2022 has updated the grounds on which you can determine a nomination invalid. For more information see our guidance on Determining a nomination to be invalid.

We have also produced a checklist to assist you with processing nomination forms.

Accepting nominations at face value

You must not:

  • undertake any investigation or research into any candidate. Your duty does not go beyond seeing that a nomination form is correct on face value2  

You should not:

  • investigate whether a name given on a nomination form is genuine

You should:

  • disregard any personal knowledge you may already have of the candidate 
  • determine nominations on the basis of the form itself
Last updated: 19 December 2023