Stand as a local candidate with the Lib Dems in 2018

Survey_Day_(33).jpgIn May 2018, Tower Hamlets will elect their new Mayor and council. While the borough has started to move on from its past political troubles, Labour are still failing local residents: raising council tax to pay for inflated Town Hall salaries, missing social housing targets and allowing crime and antisocial behaviour to grow while it falls elsewhere in London. Nationally, both Labour and the Conservatives are pushing ahead with an economically damaging Hard Brexit and failing to stand up to rising intolerance that is dividing communities across the country.

We can do better.

Next year, we want to run a team of local champions that can show residents how Tower Hamlets could be different. A team that represents the whole borough, works hard, listens and delivers results. Could you be part of that team?

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 Tower Hamlets Council, or for another local authority in a political 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 do we want?

We are looking for people:

  • of all backgrounds, ages, beliefs and experience who reflect our fantastic borough
  • 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 and aren't only in it for themselves

If you want to know more about what Liberal Democrats stand for, you can read about our values or watch our leader Tim Farron speak about our ambitions as a party.

What's involved in being selected?

  • Survey_Day_(32).jpgAll 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 6 party members from Tower Hamlets 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 list of Target Wards and will be asked to express a preference for up to three council wards.
  • The local party will hold three Selection Meetings over the coming months (see below) 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 at a later Selection Meeting if they wish to.

Dates and deadlines

Round 1 selection

  • The Selection Meeting was held on Monday the 24th of July
  • The deadline for applications to be approved was Friday the 7th of July
  • All Target Seat candidates will be selected in this round so you must apply by the deadline above if you want to be considered for a Target Seat

Further selection

  • Applications for approval will continue to be accepted. Selection of the next round of candidates will take place at the local party's AGM in October.
  • If there are further spaces for candidates to stand following the AGM, they will be approved for specific wards by the local party executive.

NB. Due to the snap general election, the initial Round 1 application deadline of 5 May was extended.

Campaigning activity

  • All selected candidates will be asked to put aside time to campaign from the date of their selection up to polling day
  • 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

13340850_10101345249967315_19122971_o.jpgIf 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.

Your next steps

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