Guidance and resources that you need if you are a candidate at a parish council election in England

We have issued supplementary guidance to support candidates and agents participating in polls during the coronavirus pandemic:

Click here for guidance for standing in other elections

For instructions on how to use this guidance and who does what at these elections read the overview below.

We have produced a timetable with all of the relevant deadlines for the 6 May 2021 elections which can be viewed here:

For any unscheduled elections please refer to the timetable below. 

View the generic timetable for use at local government by-elections in England (DOC)

We have also produced a document for people who want to know the basics about elections, the roles of different organisations and where to find more information.

Part 1

Can you stand for election?

This part covers:

  • Qualifications for standing for election
  • Disqualifications from standing for election

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 agents to observe electoral processes
  • What happens if a candidate dies?
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 agents to observe electoral processes
  • What happens if a candidate dies?
Part 3

Candidate spending

This part covers:

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