All the candidates standing in this year's local election for the borough of Rochdale

Date published: 08 April 2024

Dozens of election hopefuls will be hoping to pull off a similar upset in the local elections to Rochdale MP George Galloway did in the February by-election.

The leader of the Workers Party of Britain promised to field candidates in the local election on 2 May to oust Labour from the council – and with 15 candidates standing, it looks as though he is hoping to make good on that promise. In Rochdale there are 20 seats up for grabs out of a total 60 this year.

The political makeup of the council is dominated by Labour who currently have 46 councillors.

Making up the 60 are nine Conservatives, three Liberal Democrats and two Middleton Independents. The Labour Group has control of the council.

Four councillors are not standing for re-election; Conservatives Patricia Sullivan (Bamford) and Rina Paolucci (Wardle, Shore & West Littleborough), and Labour councillors Sara Rowbotham (North Middleton) and Peter Malcolm (West Heywood) are not standing this year.

Councillor Peter Rush, who died recently, would have been up for re-election this year and Labour have selected Paul O'Neill as their candidate in his North Heywood ward.

Big names to grace the ballot paper this year include the leader of the Lib Dems Andy Kelly, who is hoping to keep his seat in Milnrow and Newhey, as well as Rochdale by-election candidates Iain Donaldson (Lib Dem) and Paul Ellison (Conservatives). Billy Howarth, one of the the independent candidates in the Rochdale by-election earlier this year is standing for the Workers Party in Balderstone & Kirkholt ward.

A number of Labour’s top brass are up for election as well with cabinet members Daniel Meredith, Daalat Ali, Carol Wardle, Susan Smith, and Shah Wazir all fighting to keep their seats.

Former Middleton Independents councillor, Dylan Williams who switched to Labour less than a month after being elected in 2022 is also up for re-election this year.

There are two independent candidates standing: Carl Faulkner is standing again in Spotland & Falinge ward and Dave Jones is standing again in Castleton.


The requirement to show photo ID at the polling station was introduced by the UK Government’s Elections Act which was passed last year and comes into effect for the first time this May. The Electoral Commission are running a national campaign to tell people about the change.


In addition to the options of who they want as their local councillor, residents will get to vote on who they want as their next Greater Manchester mayor as incumbent Andy Burnham’s spot is up for election as well. So residents will have two boxes to cross when they get their ballot paper.

Applications to register to vote must reach the Electoral Registration Officer by midnight on Tuesday 16 April. Applications can be made online.

If you do not currently have an accepted form of photo ID such as a passport or driving license, you can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate before 5pm on 24 April. The deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm on 17 April.

Clare Poole, elections manager at Rochdale Council, said: “These are opportunities to make your voice heard and have a say about who represents you on issues that directly affect day-to-day life.”

View the full list of candidates in every ward in the local election 2024 section of Rochdale Online:


George Lythgoe, Local Democracy Reporter

Do you have a story for us?

Let us know by emailing
All contact will be treated in confidence.

To contact the Rochdale Online news desk, email or visit our news submission page.

To get the latest news on your desktop or mobile, follow Rochdale Online on Twitter and Facebook.

While you are here...

...we have a small favour to ask; would you support Rochdale Online and join other residents making a contribution, from just £3 per month?

Rochdale Online offers completely independent local journalism with free access. If you enjoy the independent news and other free services we offer (event listings and free community websites for example), please consider supporting us financially and help Rochdale Online to continue to provide local engaging content for years to come. Thank you.

Support Rochdale Online