Guidance for Returning Officers administering Local Government Elections in England



As Returning Officer you are responsible for the administration of a nomination process which supports candidates to stand for election and enables them to have confidence in the management of the election.

The following guidance is designed to support you in the decisions you will need to take to manage the nomination process efficiently and effectively. It includes information on the requirements for nomination including candidate details, guidance to support the processing and determining of nominations and guidance on the processes to be followed after the close of nominations such as the publishing of official notices. It also includes information on the actions required following the death of a candidate.

Providing information on the nomination process to candidates and agents

There may be new or less experienced candidates, agents and political parties who are unfamiliar with the practices and processes of standing for election and who will need your support to be able to participate effectively. 

As part of your preparations for the polls, you will have put plans in place to ensure that you offer all potential candidates and agents a briefing session before or at the start of the nomination period, and are also issued with written guidance on the election process in good time to enable them to act on it. Details of what the briefings and written information should include, and links to template briefings, can be found in our guidance on providing information to political parties, candidates and agents.


The Combined Authority Returning Officer (CARO) is responsible for the nominations process at the combined authority mayoral election.1

The Combined County Authority Returning Officer (CCARO) is responsible for the nominations process at the combined county authority mayoral election.2

Last updated: 14 March 2024