Standing and campaigning
Our key information for potential candidates (PDF, 48.2 KB) will answer all your general questions about how the nomination and election process works in Kent.
The Electoral Commission publishes guidance which provides practical advice for anyone who wants to stand as a candidate or be an agent at a local government election in England and Wales.
The guidance is made up of six parts, setting out the different stages candidates and agents need to go through when standing at a local government election in England and Wales.
Before starting the process of standing for election potential candidates need to be confident that they meet all of the requirements. You should therefore first read Part 1 of the Electoral Commission guidance, which covers the qualifications and disqualifications.
Once satisfied that you can stand, you should read Part 2a of the Electoral Commission guidance (if you are standing as an independent candidate) or Part 2b of the Electoral Commission guidance (if you are standing as a party candidate), which deal with the nominations process and guide you through which forms you need to submit and by when.
Deadline for nominations
You need to deliver your completed nomination papers by hand to your local elections office by 4pm on Tuesday 4 April.
The earliest you can deliver them is 10am on Friday 24 March.
Your local elections office will be open on normal working days between 10am and 4pm and you can find out where it is on Your Vote Matters.
If you would like the local elections office to give your papers an informal check, try to deliver them as early as possible to allow time for this to happen and for making any changes.
Withdrawing your nomination
If you change your mind after you have submitted your nomination papers and no longer want to stand for election, you can withdraw by completing a withdrawal notice form from your local elections office. The form must be witnessed and signed by one other person, and returned by hand to your local elections office by 4pm on Tuesday 4 April.
Candidates and agents at local government elections must follow rules about how much they can spend, who they can accept donations from, and what they must report after the election. Failure to follow these rules could lead to you committing an offence and losing your seat, if elected. Part 3 of the Electoral Commission guidance explains the rules.
Part 4 covers the rules on publication and display of campaign literature and what you need to bear in mind when campaigning.
Candidates and agents also have a right to attend key electoral events. These are the opening of postal votes, the poll and the count. Others can also be appointed to attend these electoral events. Details on your rights and what to expect at these events are provided in Part 5.
Finally, there are a number of things candidates and agents will need to do once the result has been declared, including submitting their spending returns to the Returning Officer. This is covered in Part 6.