Standing as a candidate for local elections

A person wishing to stand as a candidate will be issued with the following:-

A candidate who is standing on behalf of a registered political party will also need to submit:-

  • certificate of authorisation
  • request to use the party emblem

At the close of nominations the candidate will be notified as to whether or not the nomination is valid.  Any candidate wishing to withdraw their nomination must do so by noon on the 16th working day before the election.

Any person wanting to stand for election can arrange a meeting with Electoral Services.

Nomination paper

Each candidate must submit a nomination paper, which requires 10 signatures:- a proposer, a seconder and eight assentors who must be local government electors within the ward they wish to represent. The nomination paper must be delivered before the date given on the Notice of Election.

There are no formal qualifications needed to become a councillor, however, to stand validly nominated a candidate must fulfil the following:

Consent to nomination

A nomination is not valid unless accompanied by a consent to nomination. The candidate must sign a declaration to the effect that he/she is qualified to stand and the consent must be verified by a witness.

Legal requirements

  • 18 years of age or over at the date of nomination
  • a commonwealth citizen, a citizen of the Republic of Ireland or a citizen of another Member State of the European Community; and
    • a local government elector within the Borough; or
    • have worked in the area for the last 12 months
    • have lived, or owned land/property in the area for the last 12 months.
  • A person is disqualified from being elected by reason of any disqualification set out in section 80 of the Local Government Act 1972 - Part V.

Appointment of election agent

Another person can act as an election agent for a candidate. They must complete an appointment of election agent and that appointed agent must sign a declaration of acceptance. If no such application is received the candidate will be deemed to be acting as their own agent.

The election agent is entitled to attend polling stations, the opening of postal ballot papers, the verification and the count.  He/she is responsible for all acts involved in carrying out the election on behalf of the candidate and has a duty to ensure the campaign is conducted according to the law. In particular the election agent is responsible for the financial management of the election campaign and for ensuring that the declarations and returns of expenses incurred by and on behalf of the candidate are delivered to the appropriate officer.