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How to stand as a candidate

​​​​​There are 3 different types of elections that you can stand as a candidate in local elections, UK parliamentary elections and European parliamentary elections.

Most candidates are nominated through a political party. However, individuals are welcome to stand in their own right.

Who can stand as a candidate

You can stand as a candidate if you're:

  • A British citizen, or a citizen of the Irish Republic, the Commonwealth or another member state of the European Union; and
  • At least 18 years old on the day you submit your nomination papers.

You also have to meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • You are a registered local government elector in the Rochdale borough, both on the day you are nominated and election day. You can check whether you are registered by contacting our Electoral Services Unit.
  • You have lived in the borough for a period of 12 months prior to nomination.
  • Your main or only place of work has been in the borough for a period of 12 months prior to nomination.
  • You have occupied, either as an owner or a tenant, any land or premises in the borough for a period of 12 months prior to nomination.

You cannot be a candidate if you:

  • Are employed by or hold a paid office in the council (including any joint boards or committees).
  • Are the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order or interim order (please note: this disqualification was introduced from 1 April 2004).
  • Have been sentenced to a prison term of 3 months or more, without the option of a fine, at any time during the last 5 years.
  • Have been convicted or reported guilty of a corrupt or illegal practice by an election court.
  • Have been disqualified following a decision of the Adjudication Panel for England.
  • Have been disqualified following the issue of a certificate by a local authority auditor relating to the loss of more than £2,000.

You may be disqualified as a candidate if you work for the council or hold a politically restricted post with another local authority. Bankruptcy or a previous criminal conviction with a 3 month or more prison sentence would also disqualify you as a candidate.

How to be a councillor

Find out what councillors do, how to be a councillor, download a step-by-step guide or take the e-Learning module to help you decide if being a councillor is for you.

More about how to be a councillor

Types of elections

Local elections

Contact the Electoral Services Unit to collect a nomination pack. Your pack will include:

  • Nomination paper: Before you can be accepted as a candidate you must get one person to agree to propose your nomination paper, another person to agree to second the proposal and 8 other people to assent to it. All of these people must be on the electoral register for the area in which the candidate is standing. You should deliver your nomination form to the Electoral Services Unit no later than noon on the 19th working day before the day of election.
  • Consent to nomination: You must also sign and submit a consent to nomination form which is a declaration to the effect that you are qualified to stand and this must be witnessed.
  • Appointment of election agent:  There's no statutory requirement to appoint an agent. If you do not submit an appointment of an election agent by noon on the 16th working day before the day of the election, you will have to represent yourself.
  • Timetable: A statutory timetable of events leading up to the election.
  • Code of conduct and guidance for candidates and agents: The do's and don'ts of the election campaign.
  • Registers of electors: Registers for the ward in which you are standing.
  • Maps of the relevant ward: Maps to show the boundaries of the wards.

Note: If you are standing as a party candidate, you will also need a signed certificate of authorisation issued by or on behalf of the registered nominating officer of that party.

UK parliamentary elections - general election

If you're interested in standing as a candidate in the next parliamentary election contact us for a nomination pack. Further guidance for candidates is available on the Electoral Commission website.

Greater Manchester Mayoral elections

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) is responsible for delivering these elections. Contact them if you're interested in standing as a candidate.

Spending limits

As a candidate at any election, you are subject to spending limits during the regulated period ahead of the election.

The regulated period runs from the date a person becomes a candidate until the date of the poll. After the election, you will need to file an election expenses return with your (Acting) Returning Officer.

Please note, money that you've spent on the election can't be claimed back. You can find further information on spending, as well as donation controls on The Electoral Commission. The Electoral Services Office only holds the details of candidates expenses for the purpose of inspection by members of the public. If having inspected a candidate's expense details a member of the public wishes to make a complaint, then the complaint must be put in writing to The Electoral Commission.

The Electoral Commission
3 Bunhill Row
London EC1Y 8YZ

or email:



0300 303 0345

Phone: Monday-Friday 8.30am-5.30pm.
Closed for training Monday 11am-11.30am.

Elections Team
Governance and Committee Services
Floor 2
Number One Riverside
Smith Street
Rochdale OL16 1XU​​