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

Providing information on the nomination process

As (Acting) Returning Officer you are responsible for all aspects of the nomination process at a UK Parliamentary election.1 It is important to raise awareness of the availability of information for those wishing to stand for election through the provision of briefings and online or printed guidance, especially for those who have not made direct contact with you or your staff. 

When providing information or briefing sessions about the nomination process you should ensure you include information on:

Questions of eligibility or disqualification are for the candidate only and you should not give advice on such matters. The candidate should be directed to our guidance for candidates and agents in the first instance. Should they have any further concerns, you should advise them to seek their own legal advice.

Nomination packs

You should prepare a nomination pack for any person who expresses an interest in standing for election.

The nomination pack should contain:

  • a nomination form
  • a home address form
  • a consent to nomination form
  • a form for candidates to give notice of appointment of an election agent
  • forms for candidates or their election agent to give notice of appointment of polling agents, postal voting agents and counting agents
  • a certificate of authorisation to allow a candidate to stand on behalf of a registered political party
  • a form for the candidate of a political party to request the use of an emblem
  • details of how the deposit should be paid, including information on acceptable methods of payment
  • written guidance for candidates and agents covering key aspects of the electoral process, including the qualifications and disqualifications for election, the nominations process, campaigning dos and don’ts, accessing electoral proceedings and what happens after the declaration of the result
  • details of any local arrangements, such as the arrangements for the opening of postal votes, the poll and the count 
  • a copy of the Code of conduct for campaigners in Great Britain which sets out what is, and is not, considered acceptable behaviour at polling stations and in the community 
  • details of how to obtain a copy of the electoral register and the absent voters’ lists, forms to make such requests with information on where to send these request forms to. You should highlight that the information contained in the electoral register and absent voting lists may only be used in accordance with the Representation of the People regulations 2001 and in accordance with data protection legislation.
  • the relevant electorate figures to enable calculation of spending limits
  • any other relevant information

Our guidance for candidates and agents at a UK Parliamentary general election can be found on our website at:

Our guidance for candidates and agents at a UK Parliamentary by-election can be found on our website at: 

We have also produced a set of nomination papers that you can include in your nomination packs, which contains the required nomination papers as well as a certificate of authorisation, an emblem request form and an election agent appointment notification form.

Last updated: 28 March 2024