Guidance for candidates and agents

Be a Councillor

To stand for election to be a councillor, you can be a member of a political party or you can be an independent candidate. 

Information on the role of a councillor and how to stand for election is available on the Local Government Association website

Please visit our Town and Parish Council Vacancies page for Information on how to become a Parish or Town Councillor.

Information packs for candidates

If you wish to be a candidate at an election, please contact us as soon as possible to request an information pack. Our contact details are at the bottom of this page.

The pack contains required forms and guidance on the election process. 

The election timetable begins when the Notice of Election is published. Candidates must return their completed nomination papers by hand and by the legal deadline to the place stated in the Notice of Election.

Further information is available via these links:

More publications for parish and town councils are on the National Association of Local Councils website.

Withdrawal of nominations

Withdrawal of nominations now closes at the same time as receipt of nominations. 

If you are nominated in more than one division or ward, you must withdraw from all areas but one before the withdrawal of nominations deadline.

If you do not withdraw from all but one, you will be deemed to have withdrawn from all areas and will no longer be a candidate.

Election campaigning expense limits

Candidates must follow rules about what they spend during their election campaign. The above limits applied to the elections in May 2021.

For the latest expenses limit details for a current election, please contact Electoral Services. Our e-mail address is at the bottom of this page.

After the election, candidates must submit a return of their expenses incurred. If no expenses were incurred, candidates must submit forms saying "nil. This return is to check that expenditure is within the authorised limit. Candidates are not entitled to any refund of such expenses from the Council.

Electoral boundaries

Parliamentary constituencies are set to change for the next UK Parliamentary general election. (For any by-election that may take place beforehand, existing constituencies would still apply). 

Please go to our pages for the 2023 Review of Parliamentary Constituencies for more information.

Electoral boundaries in Cornwall changed at the Cornwall Council and town/parish/city council elections in May 2021. The number of Cornwall Council divisions was reduced to 87. Some changes to parish/town council boundaries were also necessary due to these new divisions.

If you are not sure which area you wish to stand in, please view our interactive map of electoral boundaries.  Use the plus + and minus - buttons to left to zoom in and out. You can drag the map to the area of interest to display the relevant boundaries on the map.

Further guidance

Please refer to the Electoral Commission Code of conduct for campaigners: electoral registration, postal voting, proxy voting and polling stations.

The code is a guide for campaigners, electoral administrators and police forces. It gives guidance on behaviour at polling stations and in the community before polling day.

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