UK government releases latest plans for next May’s elections

Yesterday, the government wrote to Returning Officers about its plans for the local elections, Mayor elections and Police and Crime Commissioner elections due in May next year in England and Wales.

Key points from the letter are:

  • The government’s plans are for the elections to go ahead: “based on the information currently available, polls can be delivered safely and securely, and the risk of transmission substantially reduced, if COVID-19 secure guidelines are followed closely.”
  • There are no plans for major changes in how the elections are run: “I believe there is no necessity for significant changes such as imposing an all-postal vote or
    changing polling days or times.”
  • Publication of some electoral registers will change: “The UK Government is bringing forward legislation to delay the deadline for publications of this year’s revised  Parliamentary and English local government registers by two months, from 1 December 2020 to 1 February 2021.”
  • Unlike Scotland, there are no plans for council by-elections to recommence before May: “Parliament legislated to push back the May 2020 elections and subsequent local by-elections to May 2021, and the UK Government continues to operate on that basis. We are not changing that legislation, meaning that you should not expect any kind of elections to be able to take place before May 2021.”

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