Hackney Mayoral by-election 2023: what you need to know

Hackney Mayoral by-election to take place on November 9, 2023. Pic: Wikimedia.

Hackney residents will be selecting their next mayor among six candidates on November 9. This will be their first time choosing only one candidate instead of two on the ballot paper, as the Elections Act 2022 brings in major changes to this Mayoral by-election. Here is all you will need to know before the election.

Key dates:

  • October 24: Midnight – deadline for registering to vote
  • October 25: 5pm – deadline for postal vote applications
  • October 26: Registered postal voters start receiving their voting packs
  • November 1: 5pm – deadline for proxy vote applications and free Voter Authority Certificate; Emergency proxy vote applications open
  • November 3: All registered postal voters should have received their voting packs
  • November 9: 7am – 10pm, Hackney Mayoral by-election polling opens; 5pm – deadline for emergency proxy vote application; 10pm – deadline for postal voting

Why is there a Mayoral by-election?

Previous Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville, has resigned from the post after a photo taken in May 2023 captured him attending the same social event with Tom Dewey, a former councillor who was arrested over possessing indecent images of children at that time. Mr Glanville was also suspended from the Labour Party. Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, the Statutory Deputy Mayor of Hackney, is leading the Council until the Mayoral by-election has taken place.

When to vote?

The Hackney Mayoral by-election 2023 will take place from 7am to 10pm on November 9. You can still vote if you are inside the actual polling station or have been issued with a wristband that indicates you are in the queue for voting by 10pm.

The count of votes will happen on the following day, November 10, and results will be announced by Hackney Council as soon as it is confirmed.

Who are the candidates?

On October 13, Hackney Council announced the six candidates running for Mayor:

Annoesjka Valent (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition)

Caroline Rebecca Woodley (The Labour Party)

Peter Smorthit (Independent)

Simche Steinberger (The Conservative Party)

Simon de Deney (Liberal Democrats)

Zoë Garbett (Green Party)

How many candidates can I choose?

As the Elections Act 2022 comes into implementation, voters no longer have the option for a second choice as they did in previous mayoral elections. Voters can only vote for one candidate. They should mark a cross next to the candidate they want to be the Mayor of Hackney on their ballot paper.

Have you registered to vote?

All eligible voters must be registered before midnight October 24 to vote. You need to be registered before applying for a free Voter Authority Certificate, postal vote and proxy vote.

You should register/re-register if:

  • You are at the age of 18 on the election day, November 9;
  • You have never registered before;
  • You have moved house recently;
  • You have changed your name recently

Who can vote in the by-election?

All British, Irish, EU and qualified Commonwealth citizens residing in Hackney, are eligible to vote.

Commonwealth citizens should either have leave to remain in the UK or do not require leave to remain to qualify as a voter. Overseas British citizens and convicted prisoners detained in prison are not eligible to vote in this Mayoral by-election.

What does my Poll Card look like when I receive it?

Hackney Council will be sending out Poll Cards for the Mayoral by-election in the form of a letter.

How to vote?

If you are voting in person:

All voters now need to show a photo ID at polling stations to prove their identity. This is part of the Election Act 2022 that rolled out earlier this year.

If you do not have a photo ID, you will need a free special voter ID, known as a Voter Authority Certificate (VAC), to vote. The deadline for VAC applications is on November 1 at 5pm.

You can only vote at the polling station specified on your Polling Card. You will not be able to vote at any other polling stations.

If you are not able to vote in person:

You can either do a postal vote or a proxy vote. However, changes in postal and proxy vote policies have been made as part of the Elections Act 2022.

Postal vote:

Under the Elections Act 2022, voters can only hold a postal vote for a maximum period of three years instead of five years. Voters will need to re-apply after the period.

To apply for a postal vote, registered voters can complete a signed postal vote application form and return it to Hackney Council in person or via post, or by emailing a scanned copy of the form to electoralservices@hackney.gov.uk by October 25 at 5pm. Only original signatures are accepted. Applications can also be made by calling 020 8356 3232.

Registered postal voters shall receive a pack to their address from October 26 but no later than November 3. Voters should return their completed ballot to the Returning Officer by the voting date, November 9, at 10 pm.

Proxy vote:

Other than postal voting, you can ask someone to vote on your behalf at the polling station. Under the Elections Act 2022, a person can only vote on behalf of two people at most, regardless of their relationship. If a person is voting on behalf of overseas UK citizens, the limit will increase to four people. However, this will not be the case for Hackney Mayoral by-election 2023 as overseas voters are not eligible to vote in this by-election.

The person voting on your behalf has to show their own photo ID, but not yours, at the polling station to cast your vote.

If registered voters are applying for a proxy vote on or before October 30, they can fill in an application form with reasons why they cannot vote in person, and return it to Hackney Council. Applications can also be made by calling 020 8356 3232.

If registered voters are applying for a proxy vote after October 30, they can either apply online via a newly set up portal or by filling in a new application form and returning it to Hackney Council. All applicants are required to provide their national insurance number or reasons for not providing one. Applications done with the old application form may not be accepted from this day on. Applications can also be made by calling 020 8356 3232. This is part of the implementation of the Elections Act 2022.

Proxy voting applications are accepted until November 1 at 5pm.

Voters can apply for an emergency proxy vote in case of unexpected circumstances, such as sudden illnesses or being called away for job purposes, that happen after November 1 at 5pm. However, applications for emergency proxy vote cannot be completed online. Paper and phone applications are accepted until 5pm on the election day, November 9.

Can I bring someone to accompany me in the polling station?

The Elections Act 2022 enables disabled voters to bring a person who is over the age of 18, regardless of their eligibility to vote in this Mayoral by-election, to accompany them in the polling station.

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