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What you need to know: Upcoming elections

Read our update on the key dates and information you need to know on the run-up to the local government elections in May – this includes the important Pre-Election Staff Guidance for all employees.

Local government elections are happening across Scotland on Thursday, 5 May, 2022, and this vote will see a number of changes since the last Council elections in 2017.

Voters will go to the polls to elect councillors to represent them on North Ayrshire Council.

Poll Cards for the Local Government Elections have now been issued. When your card arrives please check it carefully as your Polling Place may have changed since you last voted. If you haven’t registered to vote you have until midnight 18 April:

Here’s what you need to know before the Council Elections on 5 May  👇

Following a review by Boundaries Scotland, there will be changes to a number of ward boundaries in North Ayrshire this year.

  • There will be a single councillor for the new Arran ward, reflecting its island status.
  • There will be three 5-member wards that better reflect localities in the Garnock Valley, North Coast, and Saltcoats and Stevenston.
  • Ardrossan will be placed within a single ward, with three members.
  • Although the number of wards will be reduced from ten to nine, there will still be 33 councillors in total.
  • There are no boundary changes to the existing Irvine and Kilwinning wards.

Voters should be aware that Council elections in Scotland use the Single Transferable Vote system (STV) to elect councillors.

In Parliamentary Elections and referendums, voters will have placed an ‘X’ next to their preferred choice but under the STV system – used in Council elections since 2007 – voters will instead vote using numbers and list their preference in numerical order.

For example, marking a 1 next to their first choice, a 2 next to their second choice, and a 3 next to their third choice and so on. Voters can vote for as many, or as few, candidates as they wish.

Key Dates 📅
  • You must be registered to vote by 12 midnight on Monday, 18 April
  • The deadline for new postal vote and postal proxy applications is 5pm on Tuesday 19 April
  • Nominations for candidates will open at 10am on Tuesday, 15 March, 2022, and must be returned by no later than 4pm on Wednesday, 30 March, 2022. Candidates or their Election Agents should contact the Council’s Election Office on (01294) 324710 to make an appointment to submit Nomination papers.
  • Polling Day is Thursday 5 May.
  • Polling Places will open at 7am and close at 10pm. The electronic verification and counting of votes will be held the following day, Friday, 6 May.
Important: Pre-Election Staff Guidance

The Pre-Election period runs from Monday 14 March 2022 through to Thursday 5 May 2022.

The Chief Executive, in his capacity as Returning Officer for these Elections, has prepared Guidance for Council Employees and Elected Members on conduct and behaviour during the Pre-Election period. This guidance can be viewed in the PDF here.

It is important that Council employees take the time to read and understand the guidance ahead of the local elections when political sensitivities may be heightened. This is particularly important as some employees work closely with current Elected Members who may be candidates at these elections.

If you have any questions on this, please speak to your line manager.

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