Local elections: Door-to-door campaigning to be allowed

Published
image copyrightGetty Images

Door-to-door campaigning for England's local elections will be allowed from 8 March, the government has said.

Activists will be permitted to canvas and leaflet as long as they work alone, with groups of six allowed from 29 March.

But guidance says hustings and public meetings over this limit will still have to take place online.

The elections, which include votes postponed from last year, are due on 6 May.

The government says its new guidance will "will enable free and fair elections," and strike the "necessary balance" between informing voters and public health.

Constitution Minister Chloe Smith has urged "social responsibility" from campaigners.

Campaigners will be able to "engage with electors on their doorsteps," but must always stay socially distanced and not enter people's homes.

They are also being encouraged to wear face coverings and use hand sanitiser.

The government said its "view" was that the current lockdown laws do not allow door-to-door campaigning before 8 March.

It added that lockdown rules will now be changed to make "a substantial range of Covid-secure campaigning" explicitly allowed under the law.

Bring your own pen

May's voting in England will include polls for city mayors, district and county councils, and the London Assembly.

Police and crime commissioner (PCC) elections will also take place in both England and Wales.

The government is giving councils an extra £31m for plastic screens in polling stations and hand sanitiser in an effort to make the polls Covid-safe.

People are asked to bring their own pens to mark their ballots, while those who are shielding are asked to vote by post.

The government said separate guidance will be published for campaigning in Wales, as well as Scotland, where there are Scottish Parliament elections.

A modern browser with JavaScript and a stable internet connection is required to view this interactive. More information about these elections

Note: This lookup covers national elections in Scotland and Wales, the Hartlepool by-election, as well as council and mayoral elections in England and Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections in England and Wales. There may be parish council elections or council by-elections where you are. Check your local council website for full details. Last updated: April 14, 2021, 16:19 GMT

Ms Smith said: "Democracy should not be cancelled because of Covid. Voters appreciate being well-informed and campaigning is an important part of effective elections.

"The guidance I have set out today can give voters and candidates confidence that free and fair elections can be delivered on 6 May and, most crucially, in a Covid-secure way."

She urged "parties, agents and candidates to ensure that their campaigners understand the clear rules."

More on this story