Standing for Election


You don’t need to be affiliated to a political party to stand for election. You can stand for election as an independent candidate or on behalf of a political party. Either way, you should be clear about your views on local issues and expect to be questioned by the public about what makes you different from other candidates. Make sure you know about the council’s performance and plans for the future because you will be asked about them – and what you would do differently.


Standing for a Political Party

If you are a member of a political party and would like to stand for election on behalf of that party, you will need to be selected through that parties local internal selection process. For more information, contact your party’s local branch.


Standing as an Independent

Currently, 16% of councillors in Scotland are Independent councillors, who are not affiliated to a political group. If you are considering standing as an Independent councillor and require some support throughout the process, contact COSLA.


Election Campaign - funding

You are required to record details of what you spent on your election campaign, all donations made to your campaign and that these came from acceptable sources. You must submit a report for public inspection to the Returning Officer after the election. You can find more information about being a candidate or election agent on the Electoral Commission’s website.


The Access to Elected Office Fund Scotland has been set up to offer financial assistance to disabled people who are seeking selection or have already been selected to stand in the 2017 Scottish Local Authority Elections. The Fund is available to pay for practical support that can enable disabled people to fully participate in the process, covering “reasonable adjustments” that level the playing field between a disabled and non-disabled candidate only, not general campaign costs. This project is funded by the Scottish Government and the Fund is now open for enquiries and will run until May 2017. More information is available at


Voting System for Scottish Local Government Elections

The Scottish Local Government elections use the Single Transferable Vote (STV) electoral system.