Local Council Elections May 2023

Local Council Elections are scheduled to be held in Northern Ireland on Thursday 18 May 2023.

Information for voters

For information about the local council elections 2023 including registering to vote, applying to vote by post or proxy and frequently-asked questions please see: The Electoral Office of Northern Ireland - EONI

Observer scheme

One of the Electoral Commission’s roles is to authorise people and organisations to observe UK elections and relevant referendums. Unless appointed by an agent, you need to apply to become an accredited electoral observer to observe the:

  • issue or receipt of postal ballot papers
  • taking of the poll
  • counting of the votes

You can apply as an individual observer, or as an organisation and must be 16 or over. The deadline to apply to become an accredited observer for the local council elections is 2 May.

Find out more and apply here

Information for candidates

The information in the links below provides anyone who wants to stand as a candidate in the Local Elections with the relevant forms that are required to be completed.

 Election Timetable

 Local Council Elections 2023 - Guide for Candidates and Agents

 Nomination FAQ's

 Notice of Issue and Opening of Postal Votes

 Electoral Commission guidance on candidate spending

 Royal Mail Guidance on Candidate Mail

 Polling Station Scheme (Published 1 March)

 Guidance on the Appointment of Polling Agents

The electorate statistics to be used for the calculation of candidate expenses will be published on this page on 11 April.

Candidate Forms

Please note that the 3 April 2023 Electoral Register must be used to complete the subscriber details on the Nomination Paper. You should complete Form 4 in the Candidate Forms below and forward this to the Local Council Office from 3 April to obtain a copy of the register.

 Candidate Forms (PDF)

 Candidate Forms (Word)

Information Seminars for Potential Candidates

The Electoral Commission in partnership with the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland and Royal Mail will be running information seminars for potential candidates and agents ahead of the 2023 local council elections. 

These seminars will offer guidance and support on:  

  • standing as a candidate
  • the rules on spending and donations
  • candidate freepost entitlement

Seminar dates: 

  • Wednesday 22 March (Belfast)
  • Wednesday 29 March (Omagh)
  • Thursday 30 March (Virtual)

All seminars will take place in the evening

Places are limited. To reserve a place please email infonorthernireland@electoralcommission.org.uk  indicating which seminar you’d like to attend.