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Standing for a ward and as a political group or independent candidate

In order to represent a political party at an election you must contact the relevant party’s local office. It is ultimately up to the party to select you as a candidate for election. The party may be able to support you in running for election with help canvassing and a wealth of experience from previous candidates.

You do not have to stand for a political party and you could stand as an independent councillor. Independent candidates must build their own profiles and establish their aims within the community. Although independent candidates do not receive the same support available to party candidates, there are many groups and associations that can help candidates with the election process.

There are rules on how much candidates can spend on their campaigns and where they receive their funding from. Please see the electoral commission's website to find out more about about the rules governing candidate expenditure and donations.

Main local political party offices and independent information

Choosing the area to stand for

You need to decide which ward within the council area you would like to stand for. If you are standing for a political group they will discuss this with you.

All wards in the new Dorset Council are up for election. Wards often follow historic and current parish or neighbourhood boundaries and consist of similar ratios of electors per councillor. 

Parliament has approved new ward boundaries for Dorset, which includes 82 councillors, representing 52 wards.  There will be:

  • 28 wards represented by one councillor each

  • 18 wards represented by two councillors each

  • 6 wards represented by three councillors each

Background information about the changes and a map of the new wards are available to view.

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