Guidance for Candidates and Agents at local government elections in England

Qualifications

To be able to stand as a candidate at a local government election in England you must: 

  • be at least 18 years old1
  • For polls up to and including 2 May 2024 - be a British citizen, an eligible Commonwealth citizen, a citizen of the Republic of Ireland or a citizen of any member state of the European Union2
  • For polls on or after 7 May 2024 - be a British citizen, an eligible Commonwealth citizen, a citizen of the Republic of Ireland, a qualifying EU citizen or an EU citizen with retained rights3
  • meet at least one of the following four qualifications:

When completing your home address form and consent to nomination form you will be asked to indicate which qualifications you meet. You should indicate on the forms all those qualifications that apply to you.

Meaning of an eligible commonwealth citizen

An eligible Commonwealth citizen is a Commonwealth citizen who either:
does not need leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom, or
has indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom
 

Meaning of qualifying EU citizens 

A person is a qualifying EU citizen if they are a citizen of a country with which the UK has a bilateral Voting and Candidacy Rights (VCR) treaty and are resident in the UK with any form of leave to remain, or do not require such leave.  

Currently the UK holds bilateral treaties with the following countries: 

Denmark 
Luxembourg 
Poland 
Portugal 
Spain 
Meaning of EU citizens with retained rights 

A person is an EU citizen with retained rights if they are a citizen of a country with which the UK does not have a bilateral Voting and Candidacy Rights (VCR) treaty but they have been legally resident in the UK since before the UK left the EU on 31/12/2020 (the Implementation Period Completion Date – IPCD) 
The member states of the European Union which do not currently have a bilateral VCR treaty with the UK and are not Commonwealth countries are: 

Austria Hungary 
BelgiumItaly 
BulgariaLatvia 
CroatiaLithuania 
Czech RepublicThe Netherlands 
Estonia Romania 
Finland   Slovakia 
France Slovenia 
Germany Sweden
Greece  
Last updated: 11 April 2024