Registering to Vote

Only registered electors are able to vote, and it normally takes a fortnight before a new registration becomes effective. The last date for registration is 12 April in order to vote in the current Council elections on 2 May 2019.

The easiest method is to register on-line, which takes about 5 minutes. Go to the national elections website https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote and follow the instructons on screen. You will need your National Insurance (NI) number, which is printed on pay slips and tax documents. University and college offices also hold this information. If you donít have your NI number, proceed through the website until you get stuck, then click the links for ďlost NI numberĒ to have it posted on to you. Most people complete the application on screen, but there is an option to download a printable form and post it back to the Council.

Alternatively, it is possible to register by phoning the Leeds City Council elections office on 0113 222 4411 (Mon-Fri 8am-6pm). Phoning the Council can be a challenge, and staff will try to steer you towards their website, but once connected you can register by phone and use student registration details in place of National Insurance (NI) numbers. Elections officers are working with education providers to maximise student registration. You can also phone the NI helpline 0300 200 3500 and ask them to post you a reminder. This takes time, but they wonít disclose NI numbers over the phone.

Leeds City Council has a mass of electoral information at https://www.leeds.gov.uk/your-council/elections There is a very useful facility to verify your registration details at https://secured.leeds.gov.uk/Pages/Elections-E-form.aspx. Many students have a dual registration at their Leeds and home addresses, and similar facilities are available to people who work extensively away from home. The Electoral Commission have published advice on this at http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/faq/voting-and-registration/i-have-two-homes.-can-i-register-to-vote-at-both-addresses. It is legal to vote in two local elections held on the same day, providing these are for different councils, but you mustnít vote twice in a General Election!

You must register by 12 April in order to vote on 2 May, and you must be registered before seeking a postal vote. You wonít be asked the reason why you want a postal vote, but officials keep a copy of your signature, so there are only paper application forms. You can download blank forms from most official election websites. Postal vote applications must reach the local elections office in the Leeds Town Hall before 5pm on 18 April.

Donít leave it till the last minute! The election website crashed before the Euro poll and people had a struggle to register in time. If you have a postal vote but forget to post it then you or a friend can hand in your sealed envelope at any Leeds polling station before the poll closes. Election staff will make sure it is delivered to the correct count. Please donít give it to any of the election candidates - they are only allowed to touch their own ballot paper!

Labour Candidates in May 2018

Boundary changes meant that the entire Council was re-elected this year: all 99 councillors representing 33 wards. Each elector had three votes. In Kirkstall Ward, Cllr Lucinda Yeadon decided to retire as a councillor, so the three Labour candidates were Hannah Bithell, John Illingworth and Fiona Venner.

Hannah Bithell


John Illingworth


Fiona Venner


Hannah moved to Leeds ten years ago when she started University. She now teaches Geography in a Bradford school, having previously worked on the railways. She is involved in many facets of the community: Guides, Inner West Community Committee, and the Kirkstall Neighbourhood Forum.


John is a retired biochemist who taught medical and science students at Leeds University. He has served as a Kirkstall councillor since 1979. He defended Leeds Childrenís Heart Surgery against closure and fought greedy property developers who threatened our local environment.


Fiona was first elected in 2014. She takes pride in her work on the refurbishment of Clayton Court and Grange, as well as the anti dog-fouling campaigns she ran with Hawksworth Wood & Kirkstall Valley Primary Schools. Fiona has worked in mental health for 25 years and is the Chief Executive of Leeds Survivor Led Crisis Service.

In May 2018 the votes cast for each candidate were as follows:

ConservativeAminAmaad Mohammed471 
LabourBithellHannah Louise3977elected until May 2022
Lib DemFrankMaria Anne445 
Green PartyGoldthorpBen978 
LabourIllingworthJohn Anthony3634elected until May 2019
ConservativeKenrick-BaileyLiam Michael645 
LabourVennerFiona Elizabeth3850elected until May 2021

General Election Result 8 June 2017

Mike DaviesAGS47  
Ed JonesYorkshire378  
Alisdair Calder McGregorLib Dem905  
Zoe Estelle MetcalfeConservative11048  
Andrew Mark PointonGreen Party1023  
Rachel Jane ReevesLabour Party27013   elected
Mark Anthony ThackrayUKIP1815  

Total votes cast(62.25% turnout)42229  

Kirkstall Local Election Result 5 May 2016

Martin Gareth HughesLib Dems212  
Stuart William LongIndependent53  
George William Andrew RearConservative313  
Maddy SteedsTUSC43  
Morgan Rhys Tatchell-EvansGreen Party420  
Cain Arron WeberUKIP547  
Lucinda Joy YeadonLabour Party3453   elected

Total votes cast(34% turnout)5063  

Kirkstall Local Election Result 7 May 2015

Paul William Thomas DennerUKIP1017  
Jonathan Mark HeapLib Dem548  
Meadow Bethany HudsonGreen Party1755  
John Anthony IllingworthLabour4957   elected
Dean MehanTU & Social.133  
Matthew Peter WhartonConservative1184  

Total votes cast(62% turnout)9594  

Kirkstall Local Election Result 22 May 2014

Martin HughesLib Dem252  
Stuart William LongIndependent55  
Ben John Elliott MayorTU & S v. Cuts56  
Kevin ReidUKIP907  
Morgan Rhys Tatchell-EvansGreen724  
Fiona Elizabeth VennerLabour2696   elected
Matthew Peter WhartonConservative379  

Total votes cast(34% turnout)5102  

There were no local elections in 2013.

Kirkstall Local Election Result 3 May 2012

Simon Harris FearnAGS136  
Annabel Cleo GoochConservative398  
Stuart William LongIndependent173  
Tom MeadLib Dem293  
Morgan Rhys Tatchell-EvansGreen437  
Lucinda Joy YeadonLabour3006   elected

Total votes cast(28% turnout)4443  

Labour now holds 63 Council seats, Conservative 19, Lib Dem 10, Morley Independents 5 and Greens 2. Labour has a majority of 27 over all other parties. Only one third of the councillors are elected each year, so the total number of seats held by each party includes the results of earlier elections.

Kirkstall Local Election Result 5 May 2011

John Anthony IllingworthLabour3643   elected
Stuart LongIndependent157 
Chris LovellLib Dem636 
Morgan Tatchell-EvansGreen527 
Daniel WhitehouseConservative680 

Total votes cast(35% turnout)5634  

Kirkstall Local Election Result 6 May 2010

Bernard Peter AthaLabour4012   elected
Christine Ruth ColemanLib Dem3125 
Keven NicholsonBNP447 
Morgan Tatchell-EvansGreen469 
Matthew Peter WhartonConservative1420 

Total votes cast(57.4% turnout)9473   turnout boosted by Parliamentary election

There were no local elections in 2009.

Kirkstall Local Election Result 1 May 2008

Lucinda Joy YeadonLabour1981   elected
Christine Ruth ColemanLib Dem1844 
Philip Richard SmithConservative495 
Tony ThackwrayBNP376 
Anne-Marie HillGreen337 

Total votes cast(30% turnout)5047  

Kirkstall Local Election Result 3 May 2007

John Anthony IllingworthLabour2236   elected
Christine Ruth ColemanLib Dem1743 
Sandra Marie CockayneBNP380 
Martin Leslie ReedGreen378 
Jeremy Mark KappConservative374 

Total votes cast(32% turnout)5111   including 1493 postal votes

Kirkstall Local Election Result 4 May 2006

Bernard Peter AthaLabour2149   elected
Christine Ruth ColemanLib Dem1546 
Martin Leslie ReedGreen537 
Benjamin Robert JacksonConservative489 

Total votes cast(29% turnout)4721 

How are local council elections run?

Leeds City Council has 33 wards and 99 councillors, with 3 councillors per ward. The councillors take turns to stand for election. Each year one third of the councillors retire and face re-election, and once elected they serve for four years. Once every four years there is a gap year with no elections. This was formerly used for the County Council elections, until the County Councils were abolished by Margaret Thatcher's government in 1985.

How are local election candidates selected?

The various political parties all use slightly different systems, but the basic idea is similar. In Leeds, various Labour Party branches and affiliated organisations put forward the names of people they already consider suitable to stand as local election candidates, anywhere in Leeds. These individuals are interviewed by senior party officers to assess their overall suitability for public office and their knowledge of Labour Party rules, policies and procedures. Most of them are successful, and their names are added to a panel of potential candidates. When individual ward parties come to select their future candidate (usually in the autumn) they must chose somebody from the panel, but not necessarily from their own ward. There are additional rules which are designed to increase the proportion of female candidates, but these do not apply to existing councillors seeking re-election.

All political parties normally choose their candidates and election agents long before the official start of the election campaign. When the election is called, a proposer, seconder and ten "assentors" sign the candidate's nomination papers and deliver them to the returning officer. These papers are checked for authenticity, and the candidate receives a letter stating that their nomination has been accepted.

Election expenses

Spending by political parties is controlled by law during the period between the candidate's successful nomination and election day. The sums permitted are quite small in relation to the size of the electorate. In Kirkstall, with about 16,000 electors the limit is about £1400 per candidate, or about 8p per elector. This would not even buy sufficient postage stamps! We strongly support the limits on election expenses, but they do explain why election materials often seem cheaply produced, and why they are almost all delivered by volunteer helpers and supporters working in their own time.

Marked register

After each election the returning officer produces a "marked register" showing who has voted. It does not say which way they voted, but it does record the fact that they cast their vote. Political parties often use this list to target their publicity materials towards these people, who are more likely to vote in the next election. None of the parties want to be exclusive, but such targeting is often the only way to keep inside the expenses limit.

Last updated 2 March 2019 at 22:17. Back to the top

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Promoted by John Illingworth, 37 Kirkwood Way, Leeds LS16 7EU