Election Cycle Consultation

Closed 18 Dec 2023

Opened 16 Oct 2023

Results updated 5 Feb 2024

A total of 257 responses were received to this engagement. Of the responses received 154 (60%) favoured a change to whole council elections with 103 (40%) indicating a wish to stay the same. At a Special Council meeting on Wednesday 31st January 2024 the Council voted in favour of a change to whole council elections every 4 years from 2nd May 2024.



We’re interested in your views on whether we should change to ‘whole-council elections’ every four years starting in May 2024, or retain the existing system of ‘elections by thirds’.  The change would see the whole council elected at the same time at one election every four years. 

Following the meeting of Full Council on 11th October 2023 it was agreed to consult on the proposal to change Castle Point Borough Council elections to a four year cycle.

Below is some background information and the arguments for both electoral cycles to help you give an informed view on the issue.

The consultation will run from Monday 16th October until Monday 18th December 2023.

Background Information

Our Council – From May 2024 Castle Point Borough Council will have 39 Councillors representing 13 wards.  Each ward will be represented by 3 councillors and each councillor is elected for a four-year term of office.

Current cycle - elections by thirds - Currently the Council holds ‘elections by thirds’ which means elections are held for a third of all seats each year, for three successive years out of four.  This means electors vote in Borough Council elections in all three years.

Whole council elections - Under the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007, the Council has the power to change its electoral arrangements to ‘whole council elections’ which would mean that all seats on the Council would be elected at the same time, once every four years.

Please note no other elections will be affected by any future change to Castle Point Borough Council’s electoral cycle. Parliamentary; Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner; Essex County Council; and Canvey Island Town Council elections will continue on their normal electoral cycle.

Timing of any change - Whole council elections will be held in May 2024 as a result of a review of electoral arrangements by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England and this consultation will not affect that arrangement.  If the change is approved, the next Borough Council elections would be held in May 2028 and every subsequent four years. If the change is not approved, then the next Borough Council elections (following May 2024) would be held in May 2026  under the current ‘election by thirds’ arrangements. (Elections for Essex County council take place in May 2025). 

Full council meeting - outcome of the consultation - A meeting of the Full Council on 31st January 2024 will consider the issue further including responses to this consultation. The Council’s Scrutiny Committee will meet separately – before the Full Council meeting - to consider responses to this consultation and make recommendation to Full Council.

Reasons in support of each option
Reasons to change to whole council elections Reasons to keep elections by third
* A clear mandate from the electorate once every four years would enable the Council to adopt a more strategic, long-term approach to policy and decision-making and focus less on yearly election campaigning.   * Elections in three years out of every four provide more frequent opportunity for electors to vote and to influence the political make-up of the Council.  This may, therefore, provide more immediate political accountability and provide a more up-to-date reflection of the views of local people.
The results from whole-council elections are simpler and more easily understood by the electorate.  This may increase turn-out at local elections. * Electing by thirds means there is more continuity of councillors without any chance of them all being replaced in a single election.
There would be a clearer opportunity for the electorate to change the political composition of the council once every four years. * Voting for one councillor at a time under elections by thirds is well understood by voters.  Voting for three councillors at the same time under whole-council elections could cause confusion.
* Holding whole-Council elections once every four years rather than smaller elections every three years out of four would cost less and would be less disruptive for public buildings used as polling stations, for example, schools. An election by thirds provides a regular influx of newly-elected councillors who can bring new ideas and fresh approaches to the Council.


Why your views matter

Your response to this consultation will help the Council to decide whether to change to whole council elections or to keep the current system of elections by thirds. 


  • All Areas


  • Young people
  • Working Aged People
  • Retired People
  • Older people
  • Women
  • Men


  • Local Democracy