How do I stand for election?

Parliamentary Elections

UK Parliamentary (General) elections are held every five years.

Who is eligible to stand

To be able to stand as a candidate at a UK Parliamentary general election in Great Britain you must, on the day you are nominated and on polling day, be: at least 18 years old, and either a British citizen, a citizen of the Republic of Ireland or an eligible Commonwealth citizenCitizens of other countries (including EU member states other than the UK, Republic of Ireland, Cyprus and Malta) are not eligible to become a Member of the UK Parliament.An eligible Commonwealth citizen is a Commonwealth citizen who either: does not need leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom, or has indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom

Disqualifications

Apart from meeting the qualifications for standing for election, you must also not be disqualified from standing at the time of nomination and on the day of the election. Further information about disqualification is available from the Electoral Commission.

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Local Elections

Woking Borough Council will be made up of 30 Councillors, who are elected by thirds. A regular election of twelve Councillors in rotation is held, usually on the first Thursday in May, every three out of four years. There are no elections for the Borough Council in the fourth year. For further information please follow this link

Elections to Surrey County Council are held every fourth year on the first Thursday in May. There are seven County Councillors for Woking. Each County Councillor is elected for a four year term.

Who is eligible to stand?

You can be a candidate if:

  • you are over 18 years of age; and
  • you are a UK, Commonwealth, Irish Republic, or EU citizen.

and either:

  • you have been on the electoral register for the Borough of Woking for at least the previous 12 months;

or

  • you have been an owner or tenant of any land or premises in the Borough for the previous 12 months;

or

  • you have resided in the Borough for the previous 12 months;

or

  • you have worked in the Borough for the previous 12 months (as your principal job or your only place of work).

Disqualifications

The following groups are disqualified to stand for election (as set out in Section 80 of the Local Government Act 1972 and Part One of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989):

  • if you are a paid officer of a local authority and/or in a politically restricted post;
  • if you are bankrupt;
  • if you have been sentenced a term of imprisonment of not less than three months, without the option of a fine, in the previous five years; or
  • if you are disqualified under any enactment for corrupt or illegal practices.

Further information about disqualification is available from the Electoral Commission.

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Nominations

Individuals wishing to become candidates must complete a nomination form. Nomination packs are available before every election, when the Notice of Election is published. Please contact Electoral Services for further information on 01483 755855 or email elections@woking.gov.uk.

Most candidates are nominated through a particular political party. In these cases, potential candidates should contact their party's local organisation.

Individuals can also stand in their own right, as independent candidates.

The nomination form must include the following information:

  • your full name and address; and
  • the name of your proposer and seconder, and eight assentors.

(Please note: your proposer, seconder and assentors must all live in the electoral area where you are standing as a candidate and be on the electoral register.)

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Election agent

Candidates normally appoint an agent to act on their behalf. The agent sees that the campaign is conducted in accordance with the law, deals with expenses and generally organises the campaign activities.

However, it is not necessary to appoint someone to be the agent, as candidates can act as their own agent.

More information about the role of a Local Councillor and the Councillors' Code of Conduct is available. A full copy of the Guide to Becoming a Local Councillor, published by Woking Borough Council, is also available in pdf format.

For further information about becoming a Councillor, please contact Electoral Services on 01483 755855, or email elections@woking.gov.uk.