Guide Elections

Show all parts of this guide

13. Casual Vacancies

What is a Casual Vacancy?

A casual vacancy is triggered when any of the following circumstances occur:

  • A local councillor fails to make a declaration of acceptance of office within the proper time.
  • When a notice of a councillor resignation is received.
  • If a councillor passes away.
  • If a councillor is disqualified.
  • If an election is declared void.
  • When a councillor ceases to be qualified, or where they are persistently absent from meetings.

If a casual vacancy is triggered:

  • The vacancy must be declared and publicly notified using the CVP1 form.
  • The returning officer of the district council should be notified using the CVP2 form.
  • If a poll is claimed by at least ten electors within 14 days (excluding weekends and certain public holidays) then one must be held within 60 days of the notice.
  • A poll cannot be claimed if the vacancy arises within six months of the day when the councillor who's office is declared vacant, would ordinarily have retired.
  • If no poll is claimed, or one cannot be claimed, then the councillors must try to fill the vacancy by co-option.
  • To be co-opted the successful candidate must receive an absolute majority of votes over all other candidates.

Covid -19

If you are a clerk, and a casual vacancy arises in your area, please still publish your notice and send us the CVP2 as normal. We will then send you a notice of vacancy in lieu of the normal CVP3.

If an election is requested, under current legislation a poll cannot take place until 6 May 2021 as a result of the Local Government and Police and Crime Commissioner (Coronavirus) (Postponement of Elections and Referendums) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 and the Coronavirus Act 2020.