Election campaigning will go ahead from 8 March

The Cabinet Office has announced that individual activists will be able to campaign outdoors in a Covid-secure way from 8 March, ahead of the English local elections in May.

New government guidance will enable free and fair elections, striking the necessary balance to protect public health and ensure voters can make informed choices. It means that, from 8 March, rules will allow for individual campaigners to deliver leaflets and to engage with electors on their doorsteps - but they should always be socially distanced and not enter inside people’s homes.

The new rules from 8 March provide for two months of broader campaign activity in the run up to May’s polls. The government says that this proportionate approach will ensure that campaigning can be undertaken during the ‘regulated’ campaign period and also for a period of time before the election expenses restrictions commence.

From 29 March, the planned provision for six people or two households to meet outdoors will support further outside campaigning, such as activists campaigning in a group along a local street.

Constitution Minister Chloe Smith said: “Democracy should not be cancelled because of Covid. Voters appreciate being well-informed and campaigning is an important part of effective elections. The guidance I have set out today can give voters and candidates confidence that free and fair elections can be delivered on 6 May and, most crucially, in a Covid-Secure way. I urge political campaigners to continue to show social responsibility, and for parties, agents and candidates to ensure that their campaigners understand the clear rules.”

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