Liverymen of one year’s standing (not freemen) of the 110 livery companies are all eligible to vote at Common Hall, on Midsummer Day, at Guildhall.
This year, 24th June falls on a Sunday, so the election will take place on Monday 25th June 2018, at 11.45am.
Liverymen would be well advised to get there early to secure a seat (11 o’clock would not be too early – take a book!) but overflow seating will be arranged in the Old Library to ensure no-one is disenfranchised.
It is likely that there will be a contested election (for the first time since 2011 – see here for a full list of post war elections and hence considerable interest is expected.
Admission cards (free) to Guildhall, available from your livery clerk, will ease entry through security but they are not essential, assuming your name is on the Electoral Roll held at Guildhall (where the Electoral Registration Officer works on data received from livery clerks annually).
NO POSTAL VOTING, NOR VOTING BY PROXY, IS POSSIBLE IN THIS ELECTION. Hence to vote, a liveryman MUST attend in person.
In the past, contested elections have ALWAYS resulted in a ballot being demanded, and this takes place two weeks later, that is on 9th July 2018. However following the 2011 contest and subsequent ballot, discussions took place to prevent this happening in future and allowing the carefully counted vote at Common Hall (on 24th/25th June) to stand.
Guildhall officers are presently investigating whether this will be the case in 2018.
In law, there are two sheriffs, and the livery are free to vote for whichever two candidates they choose. In practice, all non-aldermanic candidates will encourage their supporters to cast one of their votes for the alderman standing, and the second for themselves. But the four listed elsewhere have equal status; there is not one vacancy for an alderman, and another for a non-alderman.
Thus the four technically equal potential candidates are listed alphabetically.
The election on 25th June is likely to last longer than usual – each candidate will make a four minute address, and the votes by show of hand will be counted carefully – so the proceedings could easily last until 1.30pm (or beyond). Caterers and those arranging lunch in livery halls or elsewhere would be well advised to be flexible in their timings.
For more on City Elections, please visit this link.