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Durham County Council

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Types of elections


In County Durham there are different elections you can vote in.

There are currently five types of elections in County Durham:

County Council elections

Durham County Council is responsible for providing local services and facilities throughout County Durham. The councillors you vote for have a say in how our council is run, and they also represent you at a local level. Our County Council elections give you the opportunity to elect members (councillors) at a local level.

We have 126 elected members who represent 63 wards across the county (see Council's political make-up). Our County Council elections take place once every four years, and in between these terms, by-elections are held to fill any vacancies that may occur. 

To vote in a county council election you must:

  • be registered to vote
  • be 18 or over on the day of the election ('polling day')
  • be a British, Commonwealth or EU citizen
  • be resident at an address in the area you wish to vote in
  • not be legally excluded from voting

Visit My Durham to see who your local councillors are, or see Your Councillors for a full list of elected members.

Parish and town council elections

Within County Durham there are 13 town councils and 91 parish councils, who are responsible for a single area or neighbourhood. Parish and town powers vary but examples include managing allotments, cemetries, community centres and village halls, and organising events in the community.

These Parish & Town Councils are run by elected members (councillors). Members are elected for a term of four years and, in between these terms, by-elections are held to fill any vacancies that may occur. 

To vote in a parish and town council election you must:

  • be registered to vote
  • be 18 or over on the day of the election ('polling day')
  • be a British, Commonwealth or EU citizen
  • be resident at an address in the town or parish you wish to vote in
  • not be legally excluded from voting

Visit My Durham to see which town or parish you live in.

UK Parliamentary elections (General election)

General Elections (elections to the UK Parliament) give you the opportunity to vote for your MP - the person who will represent your area (constituency) in the House of Commons for up to five years.

County Durham has six parliamentary constituencies: City of Durham; North West Durham; Bishop Auckland; North Durham; Easington and Sedgefield. Each constituency has one MP - visit My Durham to see who your MP is.

The next General Election will be in May 2020.

To vote in a General Election you must:

  • be registered to vote
  • be 18 or over on the day of the election ('polling day')
  • be a British, Irish or Commonwealth citizen
  • be resident at an address in the UK (or a British citizen living abroad who has been registered to vote in the UK in the last 15 years)
  • not be legally excluded from voting

Police and Crime Commissioner elections

There are 41 Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) in England and Wales who are elected to make sure the police are run properly. County Durham is part of the Durham Police Force area.

To vote in a PCC election you must:

  • be registered to vote
  • be 18 or over on the day of the election ('polling day')
  • be a British, Commonwealth or EU citizen
  • be resident at an address in England or Wales (excluding London)
  • not be legally excluded from voting

European Parliamentary elections

Elections for the European Parliament take place every 5 years. The next European Parliament election will be in May or June 2019.

County Durham is part of the North East constituencies which returns three MEPs - see Your MEPs for more information.

To vote in the European Parliament election you must:

  • be registered to vote
  • be 18 or over on the day of the election ('polling day')
  • be a British, Commonwealth or EU citizen
  • be resident at an address in the UK or Gibraltar (or a British citizen who has been registered to vote in the UK in the last 15 years)
  • not be legally excluded from voting