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Your guide to Local Elections

Tuesday 30-03-2021 - 10:01


Bristol's Local elections are fast approaching! Elections will take place to elect: 

  • the Mayor of Bristol 
  • all Bristol City Council Councillors
  • the Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC)
  • the Combined Authority Mayor for the West of England (WECA) 


When are they? 

Elections take place on Thursday 6 May 2021.


Why should I care? 

Local democracy is important. Use your right to vote to have your say and bring about the local change you want to see. 

You'll be voting to elect the next Police and Crime Commissioner for Avon and Somerset. Recent Extinction Rebellion, Black Lives Matter and Kill The Bill protests have led to discussions around the nature of policing. Who do you want to be making these key policing decisions? 

You'll also be electing the new Mayor of Bristol. They have considerable powers and make ‘executive’ decisions on policy and budget matters. They are often the spokesperson for Bristol affairs in the national media. Who do you want to be Bristol's voice to the wider world? 

Bristol has long been a centre for protest and activism. The past year has clearly shown that there are strong political sentiments in our city. Make sure you use your vote to elect people who you want to be responding to these demands for change.


How do I register? 

The deadline to register to vote is midnight on Monday 19 April. It's quick and easy to register online – it only takes 5 minutes. You will need your National Insurance number, date of birth, and address. 

To be eligible, you must be one of the following: 

  • a British citizen 
  • an EU or Irish citizen living in the UK
  • a Commonwealth citizen who has permission to enter or stay in the UK, or who does not need permission
  • a citizen of another country living in Scotland or Wales who has permission to enter or stay in the UK, or who does not need permission 


If you don't want to vote in person, you can apply for a postal vote. The deadline to apply for, change, or cancel your postal vote is 5pm on Tuesday 20 April.

You can also apply to vote by proxy which means you would nominate someone to vote on your behalf - this can be useful if you won't be in Bristol on election day (6 May).

You only need to register once - not for every election. You’ll need to register again if you’ve changed your name, address or nationality. 

If you’re not sure whether you’re already registered or not, you can check on the Bristol City Council website.

How do I vote? 

You can vote in person at your local polling station, or via postal or proxy vote. Once registered, you will be posted a poll card which will tell you your current voting arrangements. If you're voting in the polling station it will include details of where you need to go. If you've lost your poll card, you can enter your address to find out where your polling station will be.

Covid safety measures will be in place. You should wear a face covering, unless you are exempt. 


Can I vote in Bristol and at home?

If your home and university addresses are in two different local authority areas, you can vote in local elections in both areas. This is because they are separate elections. You will need to register to vote at both addresses. Enter your postcode here for more information about what elections are taking place in your area. 


How can I find out more? 

Come along to the Mayoral Assembly: Homes and Communities event on Thursday 22 April.

On the Who Can I Vote For? website you can find:

Links to election events including hustings.


Remember to register by Monday 19th April, and happy voting! 


Equality and diversity, National news, Union democracy

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Bristol local elections, police and crime commissioner, mayor of bristol, democracy, vote, local elections,

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