Standing as a Candidate

Prior to any election, prospective candidates must meet certain criteria before they are allowed to stand as a candidate.

Local Election Candidates

To qualify as a candidate for local elections you must:

  • Be a British or Commonwealth citizen, a citizen of the Republic of Ireland or a citizen of the European Union
  • Be 18 years of age or more on the date of nomination
  • Not be disqualified from holding office

Candidates also have to meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • They must be included on the electoral register and be a local government elector for the area on the date of nominations and thereafter
  • They must have occupied, as owner or tenant, any land or other premises in the area during the twelve months prior to nominations
  • Their principal or only place of work must have been in the area for the previous twelve months
  • They must have resided in the area for the whole of the previous twelve months
  • For parish elections, they must have resided in the area, or within three miles of the area for the whole of the previous twelve months

How to stand as a Local Candidate

A candidate for all local elections must complete a nomination paper in order to stand for election. The nomination paper has to be signed by the requisite number of electors who live within the electoral ward, parish or division and must be returned by the statutory deadline together with the candidate’s consent to nomination.

Although most candidates are nominated through a political party, individuals can stand for election in their own right. Candidates must submit a return of expenses detailing expenditure on items such as advertising, transport and attending public meetings.

Parliamentary Candidates

To qualify as a candidate for UK Parliamentary elections you must:

  • Be a British or Commonwealth citizen, a citizen of the Republic of Ireland.
  • Be 18 years of age or more on the date of nomination
  • Not be disqualified from holding office

How to stand as a Parliamentary Candidate

A candidate for a UK Parliamentary election must complete a nomination paper in order to stand for election. The nomination paper has to be signed by ten electors of the constituency.

Candidates also have to submit a deposit of £500 which will be refunded only if the candidate receives more than 5% of the total votes cast in the election.

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