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Who can stand as an MP?

To stand as a candidate in a UK Parliamentary General Election you need to be at least 18 years old and:

  • a British citizen

  • a citizen of the Republic of Ireland

  • a citizen of a commonwealth country who does not require leave to enter or remain in the UK, or has indefinite leave to remain in the UK

Who is disqualified from standing as an MP?

Certain groups of people are not allowed to stand, these include:

  • members of the police forces

  • members of the armed forces

  • civil servants and judges

  • people who are subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order in England or Wales or a debt relief restrictions order

  • people who have been adjudged bankrupt in Northern Ireland

  • people who have had their estate sequestrated in Scotland

Declaring your candidacy

Once Parliament has dissolved you can declare that you are a candidate for election, or others can declare your candidacy. The timing of this declaration will have an impact on your spending limits and entitle you to a free copy of the electoral register.


In order to become a 'validly nominated' candidate, which means your name will appear on a ballot paper, you need to submit a completed set of nomination forms together with a deposit of £500 to the (Acting) Returning Officer before 4pm on the deadline day for nominations.

As a 'validly nominated' candidate you will be entitled to free postage for one election communication to electors in your constituency, as well as the use of certain rooms to hold public meetings.

Election agent

Every candidate must have an election agent (if you wish you may act as your own agent). This is the person responsible in law for the proper management, particularly in terms of finances, of your election campaign.

Further information is available from the Electoral Commission:

Contact the House of Commons

The House of Commons Enquiry Service answers questions about the business, history and membership of the House.

Telephone: 0800 112 4272 (Freephone) or 020 7219 4272
Text phone: Dial 18001 followed by our full number

Telephone enquiry service is open between 10am-12 midday and 2pm-4pm (Monday to Friday).

Related Information

What is the Commonwealth?

A voluntary association of 54 independent sovereign states. Excluding Mozambique, most are former British colonies or have historical links to Britain. The King is the Head of the Commonwealth.