Letter: How can we canvass or collect signatures to stand in May election during Covid restrictions?

The Mayor of Yarmouth asks how the May elections can be run fairly if candidates can’t canvass or even collect signatures to stand

man with face mask and rubber gloves

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This from Steve Cowley Yarmouth Mayor and Chair of Shalfleet PC. Ed

How can May elections be run fairly and inclusively during present Covid-19 restrictions?

So many Island residents are following Government guidelines and staying at home, and are therefore unable to collect signatures required on the nomination form, let alone canvas door to door to talk to voters.

I do not believe I can take part in the elections in May, because I am shielding. Although I have had my first vaccination, allowing 12 weeks before the next and three weeks for the antibodies to fully kick in takes me to 3rd May.

This indicates to me that I will not be able to get the signatures required to put my name forward for election.

Image: Artem Kniaz under CC BY 2.0

Tuesday, 2nd February, 2021 5:34pm


ShortURL: http://wig.ht/2oeq

Filed under: Election, Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Letter to the Editor, Politics, Top story, Yarmouth

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11 Comments on "Letter: How can we canvass or collect signatures to stand in May election during Covid restrictions?"

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This hasn’t been thought through carefully enough. The election is too premature. If it’s too late now to postpone it until the autumn, I would suggest the Government or Isle of Wight Council publish guidance as to how would-be candidates collect signatures safely. Those who are online can surely collect signatures easily online, but how do the others go about it? How do you prevent discrimination against… Read more »
Angela Hewitt
Whilst I agree many more people need to get on-line it is also a worry. It encourages isolation. It develops an inability to interact with each other in an intuitive and instinctive way – natural gifts we may lose over time. Already people are inclined to text each other than actually speak to them. We are naturally sociable animals who judge people by their body language and… Read more »

If you’re a Tory then just go along to a barbecue in Seaview with your girlfriend!

Jenny Smart

How many signatures of support do candidates require to stand for election?

Geoff Brodie

Only two for town, community and parish councils. Ten for IW Council.

Eagle eye

Do second home owners have a right to vote in local elections? If so, we could well end up with the same cabal that we have now.


A person can only be registered to vote in one place.

Stuart George

The oficial government website https://www.gov.uk/elections-in-the-uk/local-government appears to disagree. “If you live in 2 different local authority areas (for example because you’re a student), you may be able to vote in both areas.”


Nominations don’t need to be in until 9 April – plenty of time (even if you need to do them by post) & likely full lockdown will be over by then

If prospective candidates have left it this late to show off their attributes (whether on or offline) I think it fairly unlikely that last minute attempts from ‘unknowns’ will be successful…. Think the old style door to door canvassing is dead in the water this year. Not that many voters really like it anyway in my experience (except those delaying/winding up the opposition canvassers) Best of luck… Read more »
Tin man

You are aware there is a lockdown in place? The candidates still have to follow the guidelines and laws. Even when its lifted their respective parties will probably have rules which have to be adhered to regarding door knocking, canvassing and leaflet posting.

The elections should be postponed.