Guidance for Candidates at Parish council elections in England

The nomination form

Your name and description (if you choose to use one) should be written on the nomination form before you ask subscribers to sign the form.

The nomination form must be completed in English.

There are different nomination papers for elections held on 2 May 2024 and for those held on or after 7 May 2024. Please make sure you use the correct version, depending on when the poll will be held. Using the wrong nominations pack may cause your nomination to be rejected.

The form must contain:

Your full name1

  • This means your surname and other names in full.
  • Using initials only could lead to your nomination paper being rejected
  • Do not use prefixes such as Mr, Mrs, Dr or Cllr as part of your name. 
  • The same applies to suffixes. However, if you have a title, you can use this as your full name. For example, if your actual name is Joseph Smith but your hereditary title is Joseph Avon, you can use the name Joseph Avon as your full name.

Signatures of two registered electors2

Also known (known as proposer and seconder) from the parish area, or from the parish ward if the parish is warded. The proposer and seconder must be on the local government electoral register that is in force 25 working days before the poll. For more information see our guidance on subscribers.


You can also choose to use a description on your nomination paper. The type of description you can use depends on whether you are an independent candidate or a candidate standing on behalf of a registered political party.

Type of candidateDescription you can chose to use
Independent candidates

You may use 'Independent'.

Or you may use a description of no more than six words in English to appear on the ballot paper. It can be any description providing it is sufficient to identity you and is unlikely to associate you with a political party registered with the Electoral Commission.

Examples include ‘farmer’, ‘Baker in the High Street’, ‘member of village action team’, etc. Note that the six-word limit is set out in law and the Returning Officer will have to reject your nomination if you exceed it. If you are in any doubt about whether your description exceeds six words, you should contact the Returning Officer for advice. 

Political party candidates

You can use a party name or registered description.

If you want to use a party name or registered description, you must also submit alongside your other nomination papers a certificate that shows that you are authorised to use the party’s name or description.  More information is set out in our guidance for candidates standing on behalf of political parties.

You do not have to use a description. If you choose not to use a description, you can leave the description field of the nomination form blank. 

Last updated: 28 March 2024