As polling cards start  to drop through the letterboxes of registered voters in Swindon, here’s everything you need to know about the May elections.

Elections for councillors on Swindon Borough Council, and for Wiltshire and Swindon’s Police and Crime Commissioner will be held on Thursday May 2.

The exception is the Chiseldon & Lawn ward. As this only has two borough councillors, they don’t have anyone to vote for this year. Instead, voters in Ridgeway get their turn to elect a councillor.

You must be registered to vote to be able to take part

Those who are already registered will be receiving their poll cars soon.

But there is still time to get o to the electoral register. The deadline is 11.59pm on Tuesday,  April 16.

It only takes five minutes to register on the government’s website – just search ‘register to vote’ online.

 Sam Mowbray, Swindon Borough Council’s returning officer, said: “There is now less than six weeks until the borough and Police and Crime Commissioner elections, so it is important that everyone who wishes to vote is registered and has a suitable form of photo ID to take with them to the polling station.

You must have a valid form of photo identification to vote in person

More than 100 people showed up to vote in the borough elections last year and were not able to because they did not have the right identification.

Valid forms include a passport, a driving licence photo card, a proof of age card and bus and train passes for older people. A full list is available on the council’s website at

Ms Mowbray added: “The polling card provides detailed information on the photo ID that is suitable to use to vote, and also guidance on applying for a Voter Authority Certificate if you do not have an appropriate photo ID. The Voter Authority Certificate will be valid for all future elections, for 10 years.

The deadline to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate is 5pm on 24 April.

Voters can still use their photo ID if it’s out of date, as long as it is still a good likeness representation of the person who appears on the ID.

The name on the ID should be the same name on the electoral register and photocopies are not accepted.

Voters can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate online or by phoning the Council on 01793 445 500 to request an application form by post.

Postal and proxy votes

Voters who wish to use a postal vote at this year’s elections will need to register by 5pm on 17 April 2024. And for a proxy vote, applications must be submitted by 5pm on 24 April 2024.

This is the last council vote for a while

There will be a general election sometime between now and January 2025.

But elections for the council won’t be held again until 2026, when all 57 seats will be contested.

And after that, there won’t be a full council election until 2030.

Police and Crime Commissioner election

This will be held across Swindon and Wiltshire to choose the next Police and Crime Commissioner for a four-year term. The PCC sets the agenda for Wiltshire Police and sets its budget. The current incumbent is Conservative Philip Wilkinson who was elected in 2021 in an election delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic and a subsequent re-run.

Voting system

Both councillors and the PCC will be elected using the familiar first past the post system, where the candidate with the most votes wins.