The Electoral Commission

The independent body which oversees elections and regulates political finance in the UK

Section menu

Candidates and agents at local elections in England

This page contains all the guidance and resources that you need if you are a candidate or agent at a local government election in England.

An overview document gives instructions on how to use this guidance and who does what at these elections.


Disability expenses

Our spending guidance (Part 3) refers to changes to the law that we expected to happen before the regulated period began.

These changes came into force on 23 February 2019. Costs which are reasonably attributable to the candidate’s disability now do not count as candidate spending.

Latest updates

  • Update to nomination packs and guidance

    16-01-2019

    The Local Elections (Principal Areas) (England and Wales) (Amendment) (England) Rules 2018, which removes the requirement for candidates to have their home address published on the ballot paper and statement of persons nominated at principal area elections has now been made and will apply for all principal area elections held in England on or after 2 May 2019.

    We have updated the nomination packs and parts 2a and 2b of our guidance for candidates and agents to reflect the amendment regulations named above, so if you had already downloaded a copy of the nomination packs, or parts 2a or 2b, please make sure you download our updated versions.

Part 2a

Standing as an independent candidate

This part covers:

  • Completing and submitting your nomination papers
  • Being nominated in more than one ward
  • What happens after the close of nominations?
  • Appointing your election agent and other agents
  • What happens if a candidate dies?

Part 2a: Standing as an independent candidate in England (PDF)

Part 2a: Standing as an independent candidate in Wales (PDF)

Part 2b

Standing as a party candidate

This part covers:

  • Completing and submitting your nomination papers
  • Nomination in more than one ward
  • What happens after the close of nominations
  • Appointing your election agent and other agents
  • What happens if a candidate dies?

Part 2b: Standing as a party candidate - England (PDF)

Part 2b: Standing as a party candidate - Wales (PDF)

Part 3

Spending and donations

This part covers:

  • How much you can spend
  • The activities covered by the rules
  • Which donations you can accept
  • How to check donations you receive
  • What information needs to be recorded and reported

Part 3: Spending and donations – Wales May 2019 (PDF)

Part 3: Spending and donations – England May 2019 (PDF)

Part 4

The campaign

This part covers:

  • Campaigning dos and don'ts
  • Using the electoral register and absent voters' lists
  • Using schools and rooms for public meetings
  • Imprints on campaign publicity material
  • Polling day dos and don'ts
  • Reporting allegations of electoral malpractice

Part 4: The campaign (PDF)

Part 5

Your right to attend key electoral events

This part covers:

  • Attending the opening of postal votes and what to expect
  • Attending polling stations and what to expect
  • Attending the count and what to expect

Part 5: Your right to attend key electoral events (PDF)

Part 6

After the declaration of results

This part covers:

  • Making the declaration of acceptance of office
  • Access to election paperwork
  • Submitting your spending returns and declarations
  • Questioning the result through an election petition

Part 6: After the declaration of results (PDF)

Candidate or agent