Eligibility to stand for Office

Qualifications for standing for election

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

  • be at least 18 years old on the day of your nomination
  • be a British citizen, an eligible Commonwealth citizen or a citizen of any other member state of the European Union
  • meet at least one of the following four qualifications:
  1. You are, and will continue to be, registered as a local government elector for the local authority area in which you wish to stand from the day of your nomination onwards.
  2. You have occupied as owner or tenant any land or other premises in the local authority area during the whole of the 12 months before the day of your nomination and the day of election.
  3. Your main or only place of work during the 12 months prior to the day of your nomination and the day of election has been in the local authority area.
  4. You have lived in the local authority area during the whole of the 12 months before the day of your nomination and the day of election.

Disqualifications

Apart from meeting the qualifications for standing for election, you must also not be disqualified from standing. There are certain people who are disqualified from being elected to a local authority in England and Wales. You cannot be a candidate if at the time of your nomination and on the day of the election:

  • You are employed by the local authority or hold a paid office under the authority (including joint boards or committees). Note that you may be ‘employed by the local authority’, for example, if you work at certain schools, fire services, police or health services. This list is not exhaustive.
  • You hold a politically restricted post.
  • You are the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order or interim order.
  • You have been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of three months or more (including a suspended
  • sentence), without the option of a fine, during the five years before polling day.
  • You have been disqualified under the Representation of the People Act 1983 (which covers corrupt or illegal electoral practices and offences relating to donations) or under the Audit Commission Act 1998.

Costs

The cost incurred by the candidate is the personal expense of the candidate or a political party (if they are representing one) e.g. leaflets hire of rooms etc. The Council cannot and does not refund the costs incurred.

For more information please read the Electoral Commission’s guidance.