Why be a green party ‘paper candidate’ at a local election?


Chris Rose, National Election Agent (07590 046502)  Updated 17/11/2013.

WHAT IS A ‘PAPER’ (non-target)  CANDIDATE?

Your name will be on the ballot paper but there will be no specific campaign to promote you in the District/Borough/City Ward or County Division that you are standing for.


1).The Green Party needs a large number of candidates to be eligible to have a Party election broadcast on prime time television and to guarantee coverage in Regional broadcast news items.

2). The more candidates the more seriously we get taken. Increases general media coverage.

3). Giving more people the opportunity to vote Green (3,000 – 15,000 people per extra Ward/Division). If there is no Green candidate in your Ward you won’t be able to vote Green either!

4). It will help prevent the other Parties from taking the winning of the Ward/Division for granted as they always like to think that Green votes – however small in number – should be theirs. This could help to ensure that they don’t feel able to re-deploy their workers to a Green target Ward/Division.

5). It will increase the level of visible Green support over a bigger geographical area and gets more people into the habit of voting Green over a period of years. We need to build up our vote across large Regions of the country to win seats in proportional representation elections (European Parliament, Welsh Assembly, Greater London Authority and, possibly, the House of Lords if elections to that ever come about).  It’s also important to build our profile across all the Wards/Divisions of a constituency so as to improve our General Election vote share.

7). It will give us more ‘real’ voting data about where our support is, and access to more counts where we can tally the proportion of Green votes down to Polling District level. This will help inform future targeting decisions, including at regional elections.


1). You have to be a British, Republic of Ireland, EU or Commonwealth citizen (in the latter case, you must have the right to be resident in the UK on a permanent/indefinite basis).

2). You must be 18 by the day of your nomination. This means that the youngest candidate possible in any given election is one whose 18th birthday is on the day that nominations close, and their nomination would have to be submitted that day.

3). In addition, one or more of the following conditions must be satisfied:

  • you must be a registered elector for the authority
  • your principal or only place of work (which does not have to be ‘formal’, paid work) during the12 months preceding the nomination AND election dates must be in the authority’s area
  • you must have resided in the authority’s area for the whole of the 12 months preceding nomination AND election dates
  • you must have been the owner occupier or tenant of land or premises in the authority’s area for the whole of the 12 months preceding nomination AND election dates

The residency requirement for being a candidate for a Parish or Town Council is slightly different, in that you may live within 4.8km of its boundary.

4). There are various disqualifications such as bankruptcy, but the one that affects most people is that you cannot stand for election to a Local Authority that employs you. If in doubt about this, ask your Election Agent for advice.


1) Your Election Agent will help you with the official paperwork, make sure that everything is done according to the election rules and regulations and answer your questions.

2). The contact details of the local Green Party Press Officer can be given instead of your own on any lists of candidates issued by the Party to the press (should you not be confident about dealing with the media direct). If you are contacted by the media it is perfectly acceptable to make a note of their questions and say that you or the Press Officer will ring back with a considered response.

3). Your name and address and a list of the names of the people who nominated you will be posted, on Notices of Election in the Ward / Division, and on the Council’s website – but only election die-hards will notice. Your address will also appear (in small print) beneath your name on the ballot paper.

4). Your Local Party ought to produce at least a basic ’10 point’ policy plan for the election.

5). The prospect of getting elected to a District or County without having done a lot of work on a year-round basis is zero, though there is more chance at Parish/Town level. In the highly unlikely event that you are the only candidate nominated it is possible to withdraw your nomination.



(Your Election Agent will provide you with the relevant forms, explain things and submit the paperwork to the Council’s Returning Officer who runs the election).

– Fill in the form on which you appoint your Election Agent.

– Sign the consent form saying that you are prepared to stand and that you are qualified to do so (i.e. that you are 18 or over, a UK, Commonwealth or EU citizen, etc.) and not disqualified (bankrupt, employee of the Local Authority etc.)

– Sign the relevant form to say you want the Green Party emblem on the ballot paper.

– Sign within 35 days of the election a declaration that you’ve seen your Election Agent’s Return of Expenses and that to the best of your knowledge it is correct.


– Get the signatures for your nomination paper of 10 people registered to vote in the Ward/Division you are standing in – but somebody else in your local Green Party can do this for you or help you.

– Help the campaign in target Wards/Divisions – either in your own Local Party’s area, or those listed as national target Wards in party publications.

– Whilst the law doesn’t require it, we strongly recommend that you go to the count of the votes on polling day. Your partner, Agent and a certain number of other people are entitled to go so you need not be on your own. It is important to see how well the Green Party has done and by monitoring a sample of votes from each ballot box we can see in what parts of the Ward we have done best. It also shows that Greens care about the democratic process and it can be can fun and interesting too!