Be a candidate

Stand as a local candidate with the Lib Dems in 2018

In May 2018, Newham will elect their new Mayor and council and Barking & Dagenham will elect their new council. Both boroughs have seen a number of changes over the years and yet the benefits to the community remain limited. Labour are still failing local residents: in both boroughs, they are not building enough homes for the tens of thousands waiting for decent homes; in Newham, emptying 3 blocks of flats to gentrify the area; in Barking, allowing crime rates to rise to well above the average in across London. Nationally, the Conservatives have entered into a precarious alliance with a party known for illiberal views to push through an economically damaging Hard Brexit which Labour has supported to bring about. Meanwhile, both Labour and Conservatives have failed to stand up to rising intolerance that is dividing communities across the country.

We are the alternative.

In 2018, we want to show the residents of Newham and Barking & Dagenham what that alternative means by building a team of campaigners who really know what residents want and need because they listen and are involved with the local community. Is this you?

Who can be a Lib Dem local candidate?

If you want to run for the Liberal Democrats in the 2018 local elections you must:

  • Be a member of the Liberal Democrats at the time you apply for approval – if you're not currently a party member, you can join now and apply in time for the application deadlines below
  • Be a British citizen, a citizen of a Commonwealth Country or an EU citizen
  • Be registered to vote in the area or have lived, worked or owned property there for at least 12 months before the election date

You cannot stand for us if:

  • You work for Newham or Barking & Dagenham Council, or for another local authority in a politically restricted post
  • Are the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order or interim order
  • Have been sentenced to prison for three months or more (including suspended sentences) during the 5 years before election day
  • Have been convicted of a corrupt or illegal practice by an election court

What kind of candidates are needed?

We are looking for people:

  • of all backgrounds, ages, beliefs and experience who reflect both our fantastic boroughs
  • who are motivated to fight and deliver change for their local area
  • with community links and experience that they can draw on
  • with an open and tolerant outlook who believe in communities working together, not turning inward
  • who are team players that will support other candidates

If you want to know more about what Liberal Democrats stand for, you can read about our values.

What does It involve?

  • All candidates need to be approved by our Approval Committee. The Committee will review your written application and invite you to a short 30 minute interview to verify you are eligible and talk to you about why you want to stand.
  • You should indicate whether you want to be approved to stand for a Target Ward or not. Target Wards are council wards that will be the primary focus of the 2018 campaign and candidates seeking approval for a Target Ward will need to demonstrate a strong commitment to campaigning with the party.
  • The Approval Committee will consist of 4 party members from Newham Barking & Dagenham and neighbouring boroughs. There will be three members of the Committee present at each approval interview.
  • Interview panels will always include both men and women and all Committee members will be briefed on avoiding unconscious bias in interviews.
  • Approved candidates will be provided with the details of Target Wards and will be asked to express a preference.
  • The local party will hold up to two Selection Meetings over the coming months where candidates can speak to the local party about why they want to stand and – if there are more candidates than available seats – local members will vote to select who will stand.
  • Approved candidates not selected for their preferred wards can reapply for selection in another ward if necessary.


  • Applications are now being taken for seats across the two boroughs.
  • The Next Selection Meeting will be held Wednesday 20th September at Café Espresso, Stratford.
  • Your application needs to be submitted and you need to be approved in time for this selection meeting.
  • Target ward candidates will be selected in this round so you must apply in time if you wish to be considered for a Target ward.

Campaigning activity

  • All selected candidates will be asked to put aside time to campaign from the date of their selection up to polling day in Target Wards
  • Candidates for Target Wards will need to commit more time to campaigning activity than those in Non-target Wards and will report regularly on activity rates
  • Candidates who wish to organise campaign activity in wards that are not Target Wards may do so, however:
    • They must also fulfil a minimum level of campaigning activity in Target Wards
    • They will only have access to a limited amount of campaign resources from the local party

Resources and support

If you're interested in running as a candidate but would like support there are lots of resources available to help you decide whether to run and to help you with your application, selection, campaigning and in your role once elected.

  • Read this guide on standing as a Liberal Democrat Councillor, prepared by the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors and the Local Government Association.
  • See the Be a Councillor website for a wide range of general information on what's involved in being a councillor
  • Watch a video with Lib Dem Councillors and activists talking about why they got involved in local community politics
  • The Liberal Democrats offer lots of training opportunities for council candidates and elected councillors at our two Party Conferences, regional away days and local events: local champions and party groups offer additional support and guidance for women and BME members.

What to do now

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