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Local and Parish Council elections 2023

There will be full local and parish council elections in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole on 4 May 2023 where all seats in 33 BCP Council wards plus 5 parish/town/village councils will be up for elections.

The last full council elections were held in May 2019.


To be eligible to vote in these elections you need to be:

  • living and registered to vote at an address in Bournemouth, Christchurch or Poole
  • 18+ years old
  • British, Irish, a Commonwealth citizen or a European Union citizen (living in the uk).

If you are not already registered to vote, you must register by 17 April 2023 to be eligible to vote in these elections.  

If you are unable to or don't want to vote in person (by visiting a polling station), then you can either:

  • apply to vote by post (your application must be received by 5pm on 18 April 2023)
  • apply to vote by proxy, appoint someone else to vote on your behalf (your application must be received by 5pm on 25 April 2023).

Voter ID requirement

Voters in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole will need to show photo ID to be eligible to vote in person and by proxy in these elections.

Polling stations

Some of the usual polling venues have not been made available to us this year, so please take note of your polling station address from your poll card as it may be different.

Your ‘poll card’

From May 2023 poll cards are changing from the traditional A5 size card. In order to list the suitable forms of photo ID acceptable at a polling station, poll cards will now be on A4 sized paper and delivered in an envelope. Providing your name is on the electoral register, you will receive a poll card which tells you where you should vote.

If you already have a postal voting arrangement in place then you will receive a poll card which tells you when and where your voting papers will be sent. 

Standing as a candidate

If you are interested in standing as a candidate full guidance is available on the Electoral Commission’s website. The guidance covers eligibility, how to stand, permitted expenditure, the campaign, your rights and what happens after the declaration of the result. 

More information on becoming a councillor is available on our become a councillor page, or on GOV.UK.  

Nomination packs will be made available from early March and submissions can be made by appointment from 10am on Friday 24 March until 4pm on 4 April 2023. To request a nomination pack, or to make an appointment for submission please email us at, stating:

  • your full name
  • address
  • the area you wish to stand in.