Types of elections

UK Parliamentary election (general election)

The Bedford Borough area is divided into three Parliamentary constituencies, these are: Bedford, North Bedfordshire and Mid Bedfordshire. There is one Member of Parliament per constituency.

Members of Parliament (MPs) are elected to Parliament for a five year period.

However, the Government may hold a Parliamentary election at any time within the five year period.  

All MPs are elected at the same time. If a seat falls vacant between the elections, then a by-election is held in that constituency.

The most recent general election was held in December 2019.

A new general election has been called for 4 July 2024.

Borough Council elections

Bedford Borough Council has 46 elected Borough Councillors each representing 1 of 28 Wards within the Bedford Borough Area. Electors vote for the candidates who are standing for the ward they are registered within. 

The most recent Borough Council elections took place in May 2023.

Local Mayoral election

The implementation of the Elections Act 2022 (legislation.gov.uk) includes a change to the voting system for a Directly Elected Mayor to the Simple Majority System which means that each person entitled to vote as an elector at an election for the return of an elected mayor is to have one vote which may be given for a candidate to be the elected mayor.

This is a change in law from the previously used Supplementary Vote System which meant that each voter selected from a first and second choice list for each candidate. This system no longer applies to the Local Mayor Elections.

The most recent mayoral election took place in May 2023.

Parish Council elections

Parish Councils are responsible for services such as allotments, bus shelters, cemeteries, community centres, footpaths, public clocks, public conveniences, recreation facilities and war memorials.

Each Parish Council covers a small area – usually about one or two villages. Elections are held every four years. If a seat falls vacant between the elections, then a by-election may be held in that parish.

Police and Crime Commissioner election

Police and Crime Commissioners replaced local police authorities in 2012. Police and Crime Commissioners are responsible for holding the police to account for the public.

The most recent election for the Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner took place on 2 May 2024