Put it in your diary! 3 weeks to Election Day

Voting process unchanged but ballot paper layout a little different

On Thursday the 6th of May 2021 – around 6.1 million registered Londoners go to the polls to elect a new Mayor of London and 25 London Assembly Members.[1]

In this election, due to the record number of candidates standing, the ballot papers will not be in a single list. 

Voters can cast a first and second choice from the list of candidates for

Mayor with one vote in ‘Column A’ and one vote in ‘Column B’.[2] 

For the London-wide Assembly Members, voters should mark one cross in the box next to the party or candidate they wish to vote for.  The ballot paper has two lists for one vote.[3] 

For the London Assembly candidate voters would like to represent their local area, voters can cast one vote for a candidate. The ballot paper has one list for one vote.[4]

Illustrations of the layout of the three different ballot papers are available on the London Elects website. 

How to vote
•    In this election, there are three ballot papers and four votes. 
•    Two votes for the Assembly elections and a first and second choice for the Mayoral election. 
•    Under the Supplementary voting system for the Mayor of London, you must make a first choice, or your vote won’t be counted. Each Mayoral vote must be for a different candidate. [5] If voters only mark the first-choice column, their vote will still be counted – they can choose not to mark the second-choice column.

Deadlines and voting options 
•    You must register to vote by 19 April 2021. To register to vote, visit: gov.uk/register-to-vote
•    You can also vote by post. You must apply for a postal vote by 5pm on 20 April 2021.  
•    Your ballot papers will be sent to you about a week before Election Day. Mark your votes and return them to arrive before 10pm on 6 May 2021. 
•    You can also vote by proxy. This is when a person you trust votes for your chosen candidates on your behalf if you are unable to make it to the polling station. If you want a proxy vote, your council must receive your application by 5pm on 27 April 2021. The deadline to apply for a proxy vote as a result of an emergency is 5pm, Thursday 6 May 2021.
•    You should have received your polling card by now. This will include details of your named polling station.
•    Your polling station will be open from 7am until 10pm on election day.  

Greater London Returning Officer (GLRO), Mary Harpley said:
“We want to ensure that voters are crystal clear on how to cast their votes. In this election, there are three ballot papers and four votes. Two votes for the London Assembly elections and a first and second choice for the Mayor of London election. Voters must make a first choice for Mayor, or their vote won’t be counted. Each vote must be for a different candidate.

“You’ll find a simple guide on how to vote, along with a list of the candidates on our website LondonElects.org.uk.

“As polling day draws ever closer, it’s up to Londoners to decide who governs their great city for the next three years.  Make sure you put the 6th of May in your diary – it’s a big day for London. 
Remember the date and make sure you vote.”

The election itself will see nearly 4,000 polling stations set up across London on 6 May. The stations will have 12,000+ staff between 7am and 10pm. Another 2,000 staff will then be on hand to help with the count on the 7th and 8th of May. 

Register to vote
You can vote if you are:
•    Aged 18 or over on 6 May 2021
•    A British, qualifying Commonwealth or EU citizen
•    Living in London
•    Registered to vote by 19 April 2021

•    Count Days are Friday the 7th May and Saturday 8th May.
•    Constituency declarations to be made at count centres: Olympia, Alexandra Palace, ExCel.
•    Declaration of Mayoral and London wide Assembly Member results at City Hall
•    Vote progress on website

To find out more, visit londonelects.org.uk

For more information please contact the London Elects media office

London Elects Head of Media:

Alison Bell - 07887 832 918 or 020 7983 4228 – City Hall
[email protected]

Follow us on Twitter @londonelects

Notes to editors

1.    This unique form of local government represents the interests of London and Londoners. London has one Mayor and 25 Assembly Members. The Mayor of London is responsible for running the city, from policing and housing to environment and transport. The Assembly keeps a check on the Mayor’s work and investigates issues that matter to Londoners.
2.    Mayor of London ballot paper
3.    London-wide Assembly Member ballot paper
4.    Constituency Assembly Member ballot paper
5.    Zip file of Ballot Papers in colour
6.    Ballot Paper animations: 
Square: How to complete your ballot in the Mayor of London electiom - Square - YouTube
Vertical: How to complete your ballots in the London Assembly election - Vertical - YouTube
Square: How to complete your ballot in the Mayor of London election - Square - YouTube
Vertical: How to complete your ballot in the Mayor of London election - Vertical - YouTube
7.    If a Mayoral candidate gets 50% plus of the first preference votes they will be elected. If not, the top two candidates will proceed. The second-choice votes from the eliminated candidates will be counted. The candidate with the most combined first and second choice votes is elected.
8.    To find out more, visit: londonelects.org.uk
9.    Link to 2016 results