The City Council has 52 Councillors, representing 22 different areas called wards. Thirteen wards have three Councillors; the other nine being represented by either one or two Councillors. All Councillors are elected to serve for a period of four years but may resign from the Council at any time. They may also stand for re-election when their term of office expires.
About one third of the total number of Councillors retires each year when either 17 or 18 seats are up for election, except every fourth year when Cumbria County Council elections take place. County Councillors also serve for four years but all retire at the same time. The next County elections are in 2021.
Parish Council elections follow the cycle of elections in the rural wards of the City.
Parliamentary general elections must be held at least once every five years. The last general election was in June 2017. Elections to the European Parliament take place every five years - the last European election was held in 2014.
You can choose to vote by post instead of voting in person at a polling station. You do not have to give a reason, but you must be on the Register of Electors and you need to apply in writing. You can have a postal vote for just one election or for as long as you would like. Postal votes can be sent to addresses in the UK or abroad.
Download a postal vote application form the Downloadable documents section.
An alternative way to vote if you are unable to get to the polling station is to appoint someone else to vote for you, called a proxy.
As an alternative to postal voting, you can appoint someone to vote on your behalf (proxy voting).
If you already have a postal vote and wish to change to a proxy you must tell us by 5pm, 11 working days before the poll.
The deadline for new proxy applications to be received by the elections office is 5pm, six working days before an election.
You can apply for a permanent proxy vote if:
- you have a permanent physical incapacity, are registered blind or receive the higher rate of mobility component of the disability living allowance
- your work frequently takes you away from home.
The permanent application form requires a signed declaration, from either a doctor, nurse or warden of a home, or in the case of work your employer.
Proxy vote application forms can be found in the Downloadable Documents section.
Electoral Registration Officer