Local Elections 2021 Candidates and Agents

You're invited to attend prospective candidates and agents briefing on the following dates:

Becoming a Councillor Briefing

  • Wednesday 10 March at 5.30pm (Microsoft Teams)
  • Thursday 11 March at 5.30pm (Microsoft Teams)
  • Friday 12 March at 5.30pm 

Candidates and Agents Briefing

  • Tuesday 13 April at 5.30pm (Microsoft Teams)
  • Wednesday 14 April at 5.30pm (Microsoft Teams)

The first of these, Becoming a Councillor, will take place 5:30pm on Wednesday 10 March, Thursday 11 March and Friday 12 March and will cover; the election timetable, electoral processes such as nominations, postal voting, polling station voting and guidance on campaigning.

A further briefing will take place at 5.30pm on Tuesday 13 April and Wednesday 14 April to provide updated information on candidate and agent arrangements in addition to details regarding the election count.

Outside of these meetings, the Deputy Returning Officer, and the Electoral Services team, will be available to provide assistance.

Election agents are encouraged to meet individually with Glenda Favor-Ankersen as soon as possible. Please contact her directly to arrange a meeting.

All electors who are eligible to vote at this election can apply for a postal vote.  The postal voting application deadline is 5pm on Tuesday 20 April 2021.  This is also the deadline for making changes to or cancelling existing postal and proxy votes. Candidates, election agents, and postal voting agents are entitled to attend postal vote opening sessions, the first of which takes place in the Main Hall at the Guild Hall on Monday 26 April 2021. 

The final session will start at 1pm on polling day at Plymouth Life Centre and continue until all postal votes have been opened and verified.

Additional guidance will be released to cover the handling of postal vote applications and postal vote packs by campaigners.

Candidates, election agents and postal voting agents are entitled to attend the postal vote opening sessions. You may appoint one postal voting agent to attend each session.

Please ensure that you and your agents have read and adhere to the following guidance:

 Code of conduct on for campaigners: electoral registration, postal voting, proxy voting and polling stations [PDF, 225KB]

 Secrecy requirements – postal voting [PDF, 75KB]

The document below from the Electoral Commission explains the process of opening and verifying postal votes:

 Your right to attend key electoral events [PDF, 131KB]

Schedule of dates and times for opening and verification of postal ballot papers 

Location Date Time

Main Hall, Plymouth Guildhall, Guildhall Square, Plymouth PL1 2BJ

Monday 26 April  9am to Finish

Main Hall, Plymouth Guildhall, Guildhall Square, Plymouth PL1 2BJ

Tuesday 27 April 9am to Finish
Main Hall, Plymouth Guildhall, Guildhall Square, Plymouth PL1 2BJ Wednesday 28 April 9am to Finish

Main Hall, Plymouth Guildhall, Guildhall Square, Plymouth PL1 2BJ

Thursday 29 April 9am to Finish

Main Hall, Plymouth Guildhall, Guildhall Square, Plymouth PL1 2BJ

Friday 30 April 9am to Finish

Main Hall, Plymouth Guildhall, Guildhall Square, Plymouth PL1 2BJ

Tuesday 4 May 9am to Finish
Main Hall, Plymouth Guildhall, Guildhall Square, Plymouth PL1 2BJ Wednesday 5 May 9am to 2pm
Plymouth Life Centre, Mayflower Drive, PL2 3DG Thursday 6 May            10am onwards                                   

Polling stations

The official list of polling stations to be used at these elections will be published at 5pm on Tuesday 27 April 2021 and will be displayed on the Council’s website. It will also be shared with local and national media.

Polling stations will be open on Thursday 6 May 2021 from 7am until 10pm.

As a candidate or election agent you are entitled to enter and remain in a polling station but you are not permitted to interrupt or disrupt voting or attempt to canvass voters. Only 1 polling station agent per party may be present in a polling station at any one time. The Returning Officer has the right to impose a limit on the number of polling agents admitted to any one station.

The Poll

The Poll will commence at 7am on Thursday 6 May 2021, and close at 10pm. To be issued with their ballot papers, electors must be either inside the polling station, or in the issuing queue by the 10pm deadline. This means that, so long as a voter attends the polling station by 10pm they will still be able to vote, regardless of the length of the queue.

Tellers

Tellers act on behalf of candidates and parties to ascertain who has voted at an election. There are no specific legislative requirements regarding tellers, but we do ask all participants in the election to conform to the Electoral Commission’s guidance regarding tellers and their activities.

 Tellers 'do's and don'ts' [PDF, 192KB]

 Guidance on the conduct of tellers [PDF, 72KB]

We request that tellers do not approach voters as they enter the polling station; instead they should speak to voters when they are leaving the polling station. Usually this involves asking the voter for their electoral number. If an elector does not know their electoral number, and has already disposed of their poll card, the polling station staff will not be able to assist. Polling station staff are only able to provide information to polling agents.

We will distribute guidance to election agents about the role of tellers and we ask that all election participants agree to abide by these guidelines. This will ensure the election is contested as fairly as possible and that voters are not obstructed, delayed or hindered in any way when attending their polling station. If there are any issues the Acting Returning Officer will resolve them with the election agents.

 Secrecy requirements for the poll [PDF, 121KB]

 Code of conduct on for campaigners: electoral registration, postal voting, proxy voting and polling stations [PDF, 225KB]

The verification of votes for both Police and Crime Commissioner election and Local elections will begin immediately after the close of poll at 10pm on Thursday 6 May 2021. 

Counting of votes for Local elections will take place on Friday 7 May 2021 - start time TBC. 

Counting of votes for the Police and Crime Commissioner election will take place on Monday 10 May 2021.

All attendees entitled to be present at the verification and counts will be sent an official invitation in advance.

Both verification and counting of votes will take place at the Life Centre, Mayflower Drive, Plymouth, PL2 3DG. More information regarding these events will be provided closer to the date.

 Secrecy requirements for verification and count [PDF, 116KB]