Review of polling districts and polling places 2023

The council has a duty to divide its area into polling districts and designate polling places for each district and review every five years.

The Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 introduced a change to the timing of the compulsory reviews. The next compulsory review must take place within a 16-month window starting on 1 October 2023 and ending on 31 January 2025.

The review period in Tower Hamlets will begin on Monday 2 October 2023. The publication of a formal Notice of Review with comments and observations invited for a period of eight weeks from that date until Friday 24 November 2023.

The review will end with the publication of the council’s conclusions no later than 26 January 2024.

The review is designed to see if the polling districts and polling places in the Parliamentary Constituencies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets are arranged to suit the needs of voters and cover:

  • the polling district boundaries within each ward in the borough
  • the location of the polling places and stations in each polling district
  • access to each polling station

This is not a review of the:

  • borough ward boundaries
  • Parliamentary constituency boundaries

Acting Returning Officer’s (ARO) responses

What does the review involve?

The review process starts with an official Notice of Review, which gives details of when and where comments or representations can be made.

Any elector in the borough can make a representation in relation to the size and boundaries of polling districts and the location and suitability of polling places.

The council also welcomes representations from any elected members in the area, political representatives and any person or body with expertise in access for persons with any type of disability.

The (Acting) Returning Officers must respond to any constituency that falls wholly or partially within Tower Hamlets. Their comments will be published on our website.

What’s the difference between a polling district, place and station?

  • a polling district is a geographical sub-division of an electoral area, i.e., a UK Parliamentary constituency, a borough ward or an electoral division.
  • a polling place is a geographical area in which a polling station is located. There is no legal definition of what a polling place is the geographical area could be defined as tightly as a particular building or as widely as the entire polling district.
  • a polling station is the actual area where the process of voting takes place.

What makes a suitable polling place?


  • Locations should not be changed without good reason
  • Is it reasonably accessible within the polling district? 
  • Does it avoid barriers for the voter such as steep hills, railway lines or major roads? 
  • Are there convenient transport links?


  • can it accommodate more than one polling station if required? 
  • If several polling stations are required, is the polling place big enough to accommodate all voters going in and out of the polling stations, even where there is a high turnout? 
  • Double polling stations in the same polling place are often used when there are high numbers of voters.


  • is the building available in the event of any unscheduled elections? 
  • Is there any possibility that the building may be demolished as part of a new development? 
  • Is the building accessible to those entitled to attend the polling place?
  • Are there facilities for polling staff such as toilets, kitchen facilities, heating, lighting and suitable furniture?

Notice of Review

Read the Notice of Review publication.

Terms of reference for the review 

Read the terms of reference

List of polling places and map

Download the list of polling places and check the polling station map.

Comments of the (Acting) Returning Officers

There will be two Parliamentary constituencies contained wholly in the Tower Hamlets Borough area following the review of Parliamentary Boundaries by the Boundary Commission for England:

  • Poplar and Limehouse
  • Bethnal Green and Stepney

The Acting Returning Officer is Stephen Halsey, Chief Executive Officer of Tower Hamlets, who is a statutory consultee and must respond. His comments will be formally published. 

An extra constituency Stratford and Bow lies partially in Tower Hamlets with three Tower Hamlets Borough Wards Bow East, Bow West and Bromley North falling into that constituency.

The Acting Returning Officer for Stratford and Bow is Abi Gbago who is the Chief Executive of Newham Council who is also a statutory consultee and must respond to review for the area that falls into Tower Hamlets. Her comments will also be formally published. 

The council has to publish their comments within thirty days of receipt. Comments will be published on this page once received by the council.

How can I respond? 

You can respond to the review in the following ways.



Electoral Services
Town Hall 160
Whitechapel Road
E1 1BJ 

Any questions?

If you have any questions about the review, if you would like information in another format or would like support to respond please email or call the electoral services team on 020 7364 0872.

The deadline for comments and representations is midnight on Friday 24 November 2023.