How can I become a Councillor?
The majority of candidates for local elections stand as representatives of political parties. However, anyone is entitled to stand as a candidate provided they meet the following principal qualifications.
What are the qualifications?
On the day of nomination, the candidate must be a British Citizen, Commonwealth citizen, citizen of the Republic of Ireland or a citizen of another member state of the European community, who is at least 18 years of age, and that one of the following apply:
• Registered as a local government elector for the area concerned
• During the whole of the twelve months preceding that day or those days occupied as owner or tenant of land or premises in the area
• Principal or only place of work during those twelve months has been in that area
• During the whole of those twelve months resided in that area
• Must not be disqualified from standing under Section 80 of the Local Government Act 1972 (Adjudged Bankrupt)
What are the disqualifications?
• they are employed by the local authority or hold a paid office under the authority (including joint boards or committees)
• they are the subject of a Bankruptcy Restrictions Order or Interim Order in England or Wales, have been adjudged bankrupt in northern Ireland, or have had their estate sequestrated in Scotland
• they 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
• they have been disqualified under Part III of the Representation of the People Act 1983 (which relates to donations and other offences) or under the Audit Commission Act 1998.
Certain exceptions may apply so you should check the position carefully before consenting to your nomination as candidate.
How do I get nominated?
Each candidate must be nominated by a separate nomination paper, signed by 10 registered electors of the Ward in which you are to stand.
If you are standing as a candidate for a registered political party you would also be required to submit a certificate, from the party’s nominating officer, authorising your candidacy and use of the party’s description and emblem.
If you are standing independently, the ballot paper would either describe you as ‘Independent’ or give no description at all.
You must also give, in writing, your consent to your nomination.
You can also appoint an election agent to manage your campaign if you wish.
All these documents must be submitted in accordance with the deadlines specified in the election timetable.
Would I have to pay a deposit?
No deposit is required to stand as a candidate in an election in a local authority.
Where can I get more information?
More information about standing for election to the council can be obtained from the Principal Elections Officer who is:
Southampton City Council
Southampton SO14 7LY
Tel: 023 8083 3954
If you are interested in standing in any elections to the Council, please let Kath Richards know as soon as possible and she will send you details, the various forms and the detailed election timetable when they become available.
Further details (covering issues such as the role of your election agent, the legal requirements which your campaign material must comply with, your campaign spending limits, declaring your election expenses and donations) are available on The Electoral Commission’s website at: