Standing for Parliament

If you are interested in standing as a candidate in the UK General Election you will first need to find out if you are eligible.

Standing as a candidate

To stand as a candidate in a UK Parliamentary General Election you need to be at least 18 years old and:

  • a British citizen

  • a citizen of the Republic of Ireland

  • a citizen of a commonwealth country who does not require leave to enter or remain in the UK, or has indefinite leave to remain in the UK

Who is disqualified from standing as an MP?

Certain groups of people are not allowed to stand, these include:

  • members of the police forces

  • members of the armed forces

  • civil servants and judges

  • people who are subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order in England or Wales or a debt relief restrictions order

  • people who have been adjudged bankrupt in Northern Ireland

  • people who have had their estate sequestrated in Scotland

Declaring your candidacy

Once Parliament has dissolved you can declare that you are a candidate for election, or others can declare your candidacy. The timing of this declaration will have an impact on your spending limits and entitle you to a free copy of the electoral register.

Nominations

In order to become a 'validly nominated' candidate, which means your name will appear on a ballot paper, you need to submit a completed set of nomination forms together with a deposit of £500 to the (Acting) Returning Officer before 4pm on the deadline day for nominations.

As a 'validly nominated' candidate you will be entitled to free postage for one election communication to electors in your constituency, as well as the use of certain rooms to hold public meetings.

Election agent

Every candidate must have an election agent (if you wish you may act as your own agent). This is the person responsible in law for the proper management, particularly in terms of finances, of your election campaign.

Further information is available from the Electoral Commission:

Related information

The Electoral Commission is an independent body, accountable directly to the UK Parliament, that regulates elections in the UK, promotes voter awareness and works to build confidence in the electoral process.

Electoral Commission

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