Upcoming Elections

District and Parish Council Elections – 4 May 2023

Candidates and Agents

The Electoral Commission is hosting a pre-election webinar for candidates and their agents taking part in elections in England on 4 May.

It will provide essential information on the spending and donation rules, including:

  • When the spending rules apply
  • How much you can spend
  • Notional spending rules
  • Who you can accept donations from
  • What you need to report after the election in your spending return
  • Guidance on harassment and intimidation at elections and when it goes too far

There will also be a chance to ask questions. The webinar will take place using Microsoft Teams on Tuesday 11 April 2023 at 12pm – 1pm.

Please complete the Commission’s form to confirm your attendance, and let them know if you have a specific question or topic you would like covered on the day. If you have further questions about the event please contact: sbutler@electoralcommission.org.uk.


As part of our commitment to delivering more proactive support for candidates and parties, we’re hosting virtual advice surgeries before and after the elections to ensure those taking part have the advice and guidance they need.

We are offering 15-minute appointments with an expert advisor at the Commission to discuss specific issues relating to the spending and donation laws, and to answer any queries candidates and agents might have. The appointments after the election will provide practical support with spending returns. Virtual appointments will be available using Microsoft Teams throughout the following days, on a first come, first served basis.

  • Tuesday 18 April
  • Tuesday 25 April
  • Wednesday 26 April
  • Tuesday 23 May
  • Wednesday 24 May
  • Friday 25 May

Please feel free to share this information with those standing for election in your area. To request an appointment, candidates and agents should complete our form and can contact Stuart Butler on sbutler@electoralcommission.org.uk if they have any further questions.


Frequently Asked Questions

To vote in the elections – either at a polling station, by post, or by appointing someone you trust to vote on your behalf as your proxy you must first be registered to vote, which can be done  online in 15 minutes.

To apply for a postal vote complete our online request and we will send you an application form to complete, sign and return. Alternatively you can download, print and complete a postal vote application form.

If you are thinking about voting by post, you can apply to do this now. This will make sure your application is processed early, and your postal vote can be sent to you more quickly once the candidates for the elections are confirmed.

If you aren’t able to cast your vote in person, you can ask someone you trust to cast your vote for you. This is called a proxy vote and the person casting your vote is often referred to as your proxy. The person voting on your behalf can either go to your polling station to cast your vote, or can apply to vote for you by post.

To apply for a proxy vote complete our online request and we will send you an application form to complete, sign and return. Alternatively you can download, print and complete a form to vote by proxy explaining why you can’t get to your polling station in person.


To vote in any election in the UK, you must be registered to vote. It takes 15 minutes to register and you can do this online.

If you are unable to register online, you can apply by post. You can download and print the forms here.


Yes, voting by post is safe and proven cases of electoral fraud are rare. When voting by post, you should mark your vote on the ballot paper in secret, and seal the envelope yourself.

You will also be asked to give your date of birth and signature when applying for a postal or proxy vote. This makes postal voting safe, because when you return your postal voting pack your signature and date of birth are checked against those you provided to confirm your identity.

Your signature and date of birth are separated from your ballot paper before it is looked at or counted, so giving this information will not affect the secrecy of your vote.


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