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Cambridge City Council

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Elections in 2021

Cambridge will next go to the polls on Thursday 6 May 2021, to vote in four different elections.

The government has confirmed that all EU citizens who are registered to vote in the UK will be able to vote and stand for election at the polls due to take place on 6 May 2021.

Deadlines for May 2021 elections

  • Friday 9 April: Candidates announced
  • Monday 19 April, 11.59pm: Deadline to register to vote
  • Tuesday 20 April, 5pm: Deadline to apply for a postal vote
  • Tuesday 27 April, 5pm: Deadline to apply for a proxy vote

We’ll add dates for other election events as soon as they are confirmed.

Making polling stations a safe place to visit

We are working to make sure that polling stations will be safe to visit on polling day. We’ll put measures in place to ensure you and our staff remain safe.

You can expect to see many of the measures you already find in shops and other public venues. We might ask you to queue outside so we can monitor the number of people in the station at any one time.

We will issue more specific information and guidance closer to the polls. We’ll base it on national and local rules and follow guidance from the Electoral Commission and Public Health England.

If you would prefer to vote by post, please apply early and do not wait until close to the deadline. This will help us to manage the expected increase in applications and means your postal vote will be sent at the earliest opportunity.

Cambridge City Council elections

These elections were postponed from May 2020.

Elections will take place in all 14 wards of the city, and all 42 council seats will be up for election. This is because some of the ward boundaries have changed and all seats on the council must be re-elected to represent the new wards.

Each ward has three councillors, so you will be able to vote for up to three candidates.

When the votes are counted, the candidate with the most votes in each ward will be elected to serve a three-year term of office. The second-placed candidate will serve two years and the third-placed candidate will serve one year. These terms of office have been reduced by one year because the elections were postponed.


There are currently four vacancies for councillors on Cambridge City Council, in the King’s Hedges, Newnham, Queen Edith’s and Trumpington wards.

Current legislation prevents any by-election from taking place at the present time. The official notices contain more information.

Cambridgeshire County Council elections

Elections to the county council happen every four years, and electors will vote in one of the 12 county division areas. There are 12 county councillors in Cambridge so you will be able to vote for one candidate.

The candidate with the most votes in each division will be declared elected and serve a four-year term of office.

Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner election

This election was postponed from May 2020.

You will be able to vote for up to two candidates: your first choice and, if you wish, a second choice. This is called the supplementary vote system.

Supplementary vote system

All the first-choice candidates will be counted and if one candidate gains more than 50% of the votes, they will be declared elected. If this does not happen, then the top two candidates go through to a second round. The other candidates are eliminated.

Ballot papers where the first-choice candidate was eliminated are then looked at for their second choice. If the second choice is one of the top two candidates, the vote is added to that candidate’s tally.

The candidate with the most votes after the second choices are looked at is then declared elected. They will serve a three-year term of office, which is one year less than usual because the election was postponed.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Mayor election

This election takes place every four years.

You will be able to vote for up to two candidates: your first choice and, if you wish, a second choice. The method of declaring the winner is the same as for the Police and Crime Commissioner election.

The Mayor will serve a four-year term of office.