Types of Election

There are different types of elections for which the Returning Officer for Moray oversees. The Returning Officer is the person in charge of conduct of elections and counting of any votes in a constituency, ward or counting area. During Referendums the Returning Officer usually also acts as the Counting Officer in the same way.

To see which elections are running currently please visit the forthcoming elections page.

UK Westminster Parliamentary Elections (General Election)

The General Election is when you vote to for an MP (Members of Parliament) to represent Moray in the House of Commons, which is the primary legislative chamber located in at the UK Parliament in Westminster, London.

The United Kingdom is split into constituencies, and each constituency votes for an MP to represent them, using the 'first past the post' system.

The last General Election was held in December 2019 with the next scheduled for 2024 under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act 2011.

The current MP for Moray is Douglas Ross (Conservative).

Scottish Parliamentary Elections

The Scottish Parliament, based in Edinburgh is responsible legislation for devolved matters e.g. agriculture, education, environment, housing, health and social services. Elected candidates are called MSPs (Minster of Scottish Parliament).

The Parliament consists of 129 MSPs, comprising 73 Constituency MSPs and 56 Regional MSPs. When you vote in a Scottish Parliament election, you have two votes – one to elect your constituency member and one to elect your regional member (additional member system). In the constituency ballot, you choose the candidate you want to represent you directly. In the regional ballot, you choose from a list of party or independent candidates to represent your region. In Moray we are part of the Highlands’ and Islands region.

Moray is represented by 1 Moray Constituency MSP, and 7 Regional MSPs.

Elections for the Scottish Parliament occur every four years with the last election in May 2021 and the next election scheduled for May 2026.
The current constituency MSP for Moray is Richard Lochhead (SNP). You can find your Regional MSPs by using this postcode locator facility.

Local Government (Council) Elections

Local Government elections elect your local Councillors to represent the Moray local authority area on The Moray Council. There are 8 multi-member wards in the Moray, with a total of 26 serving councillors who serve a five year term. The last Local Government election was held  in May 2022 and the next one will be held in May 2027.  Local Government elections are conducted by Single Transferable Vote.

Local Wards and the number of Councillors designated
Ward No. Ward Name No. of Councillors


 Speyside Glenlivet 3
2  Keith and Cullen 3
3  Buckie 3
4  Fochabers Lhanbryde 3
5  Heldon and Laich 4
6  Elgin City North 3
7  Elgin City South 3
8  Forres 4

For more information about your local councillor or becoming a councillor, please visit the dedicated web pages on Councillors and Committees.


A by-election occurs when a seat becomes vacant between elections for reasons such as resignation, expulsion, bankruptcy or death of the sitting Member. By-Elections can be held for UK, Scottish Parliaments and Local Government. By-elections or interim elections may also be held for Community Councils when the membership falls to below the minimum membership.

Cairngorm National Park Elections

The Cairngorm National Park holds elections to elect five community representatives to their board. The Park Boundary encompasses an area of Moray within Cairngorm National Park Ward 4 – Aberdeenshire/Moray. Elections to this board are primarily administered by the Returning Officer based at the Highland Council. The last election was held in March 2019 and is next is due in March 2023.

Crofting Board Elections

The Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act 2010  was passed by the Scottish Parliament in 2010 and made provision for elections to be held to the Crofting Commission. The last election took place in March 2017 and the next one will be held in March 2023.

Contact Us

Elections Office
Council Offices
High Street

01343 563334


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