Local Government Elections

About Local Government Elections

Local government ordinary elections are held on the third Saturday in October every two years. The next state-wide ordinary elections are scheduled for  18 October 2025.

Councillors are elected for terms of four years in Western Australia. Elections are held every two years for half of the council, and candidates are elected using the first-past-the-post voting system. If a vacancy occurs within a term, an extraordinary election is held.

If the number of candidates is equal to the number of vacancies, the candidate is elected unopposed. If there are more candidates than vacancies, the election will proceed.

Voting in a Local Government Election

For local government elections, rolls close at 5.00 pm, 50 days prior to polling day. 

Eligible electors who wish to run as a candidate at their local government election must nominate with the appointed Returning Officer by the prescribed close of nominations date and time. 

For postal elections, all eligible electors will receive a postal voting package two to three weeks prior to polling day, depending on the service delivery of Australia Post. The package will include candidate profiles, ballot paper(s), instructions on how to vote, a declaration that must be signed by the elector and a reply paid envelope. To vote, follow the instructions included in the package.

The Returning Officer must receive your postal voting package before 6.00 pm on polling day. If you do not think that your postal voting package can be returned by post in time, you can deliver it by hand to your local council office. 

While voting in a local government election is not compulsory in Western Australia, all electors are strongly encouraged to vote.

Nominating as a Candidate in a Local Government Election

Electors who wish to nominate as a candidate in a local government election must complete a valid nomination application and present it to the Returning Officer before nominations close. Prior to nominating all candidates must complete the online candidate induction from the Department of Local Government, Sport & Cultural Industries website.

Nominations for a local government election open 44 days before polling day and close at 4.00 pm, 37 days before polling day. Use the Commission’s Nomination Builder to electronically complete the nomination form and candidate profile.

Eligibility details and further information on the nomination process can be found on the WA Electoral Commission's website.

A Candidate Information Webinar was held on Monday 14 August 2023. The candidate webinar featured presentations from the Electoral Commission, the Department and WALGA staff. As well as describing the key processes and roles in becoming a Councillor, the webinar included a Question-and-Answer session addressing direct queries from participants.A recording of the webinar, including slides and graphics can be found here.