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Become a candidate

Almost anyone can stand for election to the city or county council. As long as you meet the criteria below, and can find ten people to support your nomination, you can put your name forward and become a candidate. You do not need to pay a deposit to stand in a local election, submitting a nomination is free!

The next city council elections are on 7 May 2020. All 42 councillors will be up for re-election at the same time due to changes to the city’s ward boundaries. For information on what a city councillor does, read our page about being a city councillor.

The next county council elections are on 6 May 2021, when each seat in the twelve electoral divisions will be up for election. You can find information on county councillors on the county council website.

If you would like to stand as a candidate at a local government election 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 and 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 last 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

You are disqualified from standing if:

  • you are employed by the local authority or hold a paid office under the authority (including joint boards or committees)
  • 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 the day of election
  • you have been disqualified under the Representation of the People Act 1983 (which covers corrupt or illegal practices and offences relating to donations) or under the Audit Commission Act 1998

Submitting your nomination

In order to stand as a candidate you will need to complete a nomination paper. There are two parts to the nomination paper that you must submit to make your nomination valid:

  • the nomination form: which requires signatures from ten local electors who are registered to vote in the ward/electoral division in which you wish to stand
  • your consent to nomination: which you must sign and have witnessed

To stand on behalf of a registered political party, you will also need:

  • a certificate authorising you to use the party name or a registered description on the ballot paper
  • a written request to use one of the party's emblems, if you would like one to appear on the ballot paper

The election period will officially begin once the notice of election has been published, both on our website and at the Guildhall offices. We will also publish a timetable in advance of the election period so that you can see when you will be able to submit your nomination papers.

For more information visit the Electoral Commission's website.

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