How to become a councillor

Part of: Local councillors

If you want to become a councillor, you need to stand as a candidate and be voted in by the electors of that ward. 

Your eligibility to stand as a candidate

You can stand as a candidate if you are:

  • at least 18 years old
  • a British citizen, an eligible Commonwealth citizen or a citizen of any member state of the European Union

You must also meet at least 1 of the following 4 qualifications:

  • you are, and will continue to be, registered as a local government elector for the local authority area in which you wish to stand from the day of your nomination onwards
  • you have occupied as owner or tenant any land or other premises in the local authority area during the whole of the 12 months before the day of your nomination and the day of election
  • your main or only place of work during the 12 months before the day of your nomination and the day of election has been in the local authority area
  • you have lived in the local authority area during the whole of the 12 months before the day of your nomination and the day of election

Being disqualified from standing as a candidate

Apart from meeting the qualifications for standing for election, you must also not be disqualified.

The full range of disqualifications is complex. You must do everything you can to check that you are not disqualified before submitting your nomination papers.

You may not be able to stand as a candidate if you: 

  • are bankrupt
  • have a criminal conviction which has a minimum penalty of 3 months in prison
  • work for Haringey Council or hold a politically restricted post with another local authority

See the Electoral Commission’s website for further information on disqualifications.

How to become a candidate

Most people become councillors after joining a political party. You can also stand for election as an independent candidate.

Getting support to stand as candidate

Before you can be accepted as a candidate you must get:

  • 1 person to propose your nomination
  • another person to agree to second the proposal

All these people must be on the electoral register, and from the ward in which you are standing. 

For more information about how to become a candidate in Haringey please contact us.

Your election agent

As a candidate you must appoint an election agent, or you can choose to act as your own election agent.

Your agent’s job is to:

  • organise election campaign activities
  • deal with your expenses
  • make sure your campaign is conducted legally

Briefings for candidates and agents 

To be added to our candidates and agents mailing list, please email us. 

Election meeting rooms

Candidates are entitled to use rooms in publicly funded buildings to hold public meetings from the last date of publication of the Notice of Election through to the day before polling day.

The availability of meeting rooms at any of the venues is dependent on pre-existing bookings.

Polling day – the count

Every candidate is entitled to attend the counting of votes on polling day (the count), and attend the opening of postal votes. You can also appoint other people, known as polling agents, to attend the polling stations and the count.

Each ward is counted separately. If you are elected, you will receive instructions on taking up your appointment after the poll, or on the following day.

Contact customer services: electoral services