In the recent local elections in the UK one community in Wales had no candidate stand for election to the Powys council. It appears to be not uncommon for House races in the United States to be uncontested, but are there any examples of an election to a national legislature where no candidate ran?

  • 1
    Do you mean in any country on the planet, or just in the US? Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 12:01
  • The closest example I can think of is that sometimes in an uncontested race, the sole candidate dies or drops out when it is too late for anyone else to run procedurally, leading to a vacancy. At the local level it happens fairly often in small rural governments and a consistent failure to get people to run for office is the main criteria in Colorado for dissolving a governmental entity. Where write in votes are allowed you just need one person to vote for himself to prevent this from happening.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 6:04

2 Answers 2


In the parliamentary elections in Tunisa held in December 2022, several seats had no candidate stand in them. Reuters:

Under the new constitution drafted by [President] Saied and approved by a referendum last July, the new parliament will have very limited powers.

With the main parties absent, a total of 1,058 candidates - only 120 of them women - were running for 161 seats.

For 10 of those - seven in Tunisia and three decided by expatriate voters - there is just one candidate. A further seven of the seats decided by expatriate voters have no candidates running at all.

The election was part of a series of political changes made by Saied after he shut down the previous parliament last year, in moves his critics have called a coup.

After the turnout figures were announced, major parties, among them the Salvation Front, which includes the Islamist Ennahda party and its arch-rival, the Free Constitutional Party, said Saied had no legitimacy and should step down, calling for massive protests.


In Algeria currently this problem exists in a way. The previous President who has reigned for many terms and is seen as being controlled by wealthy people and the military has finally stepped down from running for a 5th term as a result of huge protests. The problem is that no serious opposition parties or candidates exist because of years of political stiffling and suppression, that was the one excuse the group used to justify an attempt at a 5th term.

  • Can you include any specific seats that had zero candidates in fact? Or is this just a general wave that some seats had fewer candidates than desired and some candidates were worse than desired?
    – Nij
    Commented Dec 23, 2022 at 6:13

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