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Representation of the People Act 1983

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

  1. Introductory Text

  2. Part I Parliamentary and Local Government Franchise and its Exercise

    1. Parliamentary and local government franchise

      1. 1.Parliamentary electors

      2. 2.Local government electors

      3. 3.Disfranchisement of offenders in prison etc.

      4. 4.Qualifying date

      5. 5.Residence

      6. 6.Residence: merchant seamen

      7. 7.Residence: detained and voluntary mental patients

    2. Registration of parliamentary and local government electors

      1. 8.Registration officers

      2. 9.Registers of electors

      3. 10.Preparation of registers

      4. 11.Correction of registers

      5. 12.Right to be registered

      6. 13.Publication of registers

    3. Service qualifications and declarations for registration

      1. 14.Service qualification

      2. 15.Service declaration

      3. 16.Contents of service declaration

      4. 17.Effect of service declaration

    4. Place and manner of voting at parliamentary elections

      1. 18.Polling districts and places at parliamentary elections

      2. 19.Voting at parliamentary elections

      3. 20.Absent voters at parliamentary elections

      4. 21.Proxies at parliamentary elections

      5. 22.Voting as proxy at parliamentary elections

    5. Conduct of parliamentary elections

      1. 23.Rules for parliamentary elections

      2. 24.Returning officers: England and Wales

      3. 25.Returning officers: Scotland

      4. 26.Returning officer: Northern Ireland

      5. 27.Returning officers generally

      6. 28.Discharge of returning officer's functions in England and Wales

      7. 29.Payments by and to returning officer

      8. 30.Taxation of returning officer's account

    6. Place and manner of voting at local government elections

      1. 31.Polling districts and stations at local government elections

      2. 32.Voting at local government elections

      3. 33.Absent voters at local government elections

      4. 34.Proxies at local government elections

    7. Conduct of local government elections in England and Wales

      1. 35.Returning officers: local elections in England and Wales

      2. 36.Local elections in England and Wales

      3. 37.Ordinary day of local elections in England and Wales

      4. 38.Nominations and candidate's death in local election in England and Wales

      5. 39.Local elections void etc. in England and Wales

      6. 40.Timing as to local elections in England and Wales

    8. Conduct of local government elections in Scotland

      1. 41.Returning officers: local elections in Scotland

      2. 42.Local elections in Scotland

      3. 43.Day of ordinary local elections in Scotland, and other timing provisions

      4. 44.Candidate's death in local election in Scotland

      5. 45.Non-election of local authority etc. in Scotland

    9. Supplemented provisions as to local government elections

      1. 46.Further provision as to local election voting

      2. 47.Loan of equipment for local elections

      3. 48.Validity of local elections, and legal costs

    10. Supplemental provisions as to parliamentary and local government elections

      1. 49.Effect of registers

      2. 50.Effect of misdescription

      3. 51.Corrupt and illegal practices lists

      4. 52.Discharge of registration duties

      5. 53.Power to make regulations as to registration etc.

      6. 54.Payment of expenses of registration

      7. 55.Ascertainment of amount of registration expenses

      8. 56.Registration appeals: England and Wales

      9. 57.Registration appeals: Scotland

      10. 58.Registration appeals: Northern Ireland

      11. 59.Supplemental provisions as to members of forces and service voters

    11. Offences

      1. 60.Personation

      2. 61.Other voting offences

      3. 62.Offences as to declarations

      4. 63.Breach of official duty in parliamentary elections

      5. 64.Breach of official duty in local elections

      6. 65.Tampering with nomination papers, ballot papers etc.

      7. 66.Requirement of secrecy

  3. Part II The Election Campaign

    1. The election agent

      1. 67.Appointment of election agent

      2. 68.Nomination of sub-agent at parliamentary elections

      3. 69.Office of election agent and sub-agent

      4. 70.Effect of default in election agent's appointment

      5. 71.Elections where election agent not required

    2. Election expenses

      1. 72.Making of contracts through election agent

      2. 73.Payment of expenses through election agent

      3. 74.Candidate's personal expenses, and petty expenses

      4. 75.Prohibition of expenses not authorised by election agent

      5. 76.Limitation of election expenses

      6. 77.Expenses limit for joint candidates at local election

      7. 78.Time for sending in and paying claims

      8. 79.Disputed claims

      9. 80.Election agent's claim

      10. 81.Return as to election expenses

      11. 82.Declarations as to election expenses

      12. 83.Where no return and declarations needed at parliamentary elections

      13. 84.Penalty for failure as respects return or declarations

      14. 85.Penalty for sitting or voting where no return and declarations transmitted

      15. 86.Authorised excuses for failures as to return and declarations

      16. 87.Court's power to require information from election agent or sub-agent

      17. 88.Publication of time and place for inspection of returns and declarations

      18. 89.Inspection of returns and declarations

      19. 90.Election expenses at elections where election agent not required

    3. Publicity at parliamentary elections

      1. 91.Candidate's right to send election address post free

      2. 92.Broadcasting from outside United Kingdom

      3. 93.Broadcasting during elections

      4. 94.Imitation poll cards

    4. Election meetings

      1. 95.Schools and rooms for parliamentary election meetings

      2. 96.Schools and rooms for local election meetings

      3. 97.Disturbances at election meetings

      4. 98.Premises not affected for rates

    5. Agency by election officials and canvassing by police officers

      1. 99.Officials not to act for candidates

      2. 100.Illegal canvassing by police officers

    6. Conveyance of voters to and from poll

      1. 101.No hiring of vehicles to convey voters

      2. 102.No payments for conveyance of voters

      3. 103.Provisions supplemental to ss. 101 and 102

      4. 104." Carriage " in ss. 101 to 103

      5. 105.Access to polling place by sea

    7. Other illegal practices, payments, employments or hirings

      1. 106.False statements as to candidates

      2. 107.Corrupt withdrawal from candidature

      3. 108.Premises not to be used as committee rooms

      4. 109.Payments for exhibition of election notices

      5. 110.Printer's name and address on election publications

      6. 111.Prohibition of paid canvassers

      7. 112.Providing money for illegal purposes

    8. Bribery, treating and undue influence

      1. 113.Bribery

      2. 114.Treating

      3. 115.Undue influence

    9. Supplemental

      1. 116.Rights of creditors

      2. 117.Savings as to parliamentary elections

      3. 118.Interpretation of Part II

      4. 119.Computation of time for purposes of Part II

  4. Part III Legal Proceedings

    1. Questioning of a parliamentary election

      1. 120.Method of questioning parliamentary election

      2. 121.Presentation and service of parliamentary election petition

      3. 122.Time for presentation or amendment of parliamentary election petition

      4. 123.Constitution of election court and place of trial

      5. 124.Judges' expenses and reception: England and Wales and Northern Ireland

      6. 125.Judges' expenses and reception: Scotland

      7. 126.Attendance of House of Commons shorthand writer

    2. Questioning of a local election

      1. 127.Method of questioning local election

      2. 128.Presentation of petition questioning local election

      3. 129.Time for presentation or amendment of petition questioning local election

      4. 130.Election court for local election in England and Wales, and place of trial

      5. 131.Accommodation of and attendance on court

      6. 132.Remuneration and allowances

      7. 133.Repayments under ss. 131 and 132

      8. 134.Election court for local election in Scotland, and place of trial

      9. 135.Consequences of local election declared void

    3. Procedure on all election petitions

      1. 136.Security for costs

      2. 137.Petition at issue

      3. 138.List of petitions

      4. 139.Trial of petition

      5. 140.Witnesses

      6. 141.Duty to answer relevant questions

      7. 142.Certificate of indemnity

      8. 143.Expenses of witnesses

      9. 144.Conclusion of trial of parliamentary election petition

      10. 145.Conclusion of trial of local election petition

      11. 146.Special case for determination of High Court

      12. 147.Withdrawal of petition

      13. 148.Evidence required for withdrawal of petition

      14. 149.Penalty for corrupt withdrawal and breach of s. 148

      15. 150.Substitution of new petitioner

      16. 151.Report on withdrawal

      17. 152.Abatement of petition

      18. 153.Withdrawal and substitution of respondents before trial

      19. 154.Costs of petition

      20. 155.Neglect or refusal to pay costs

      21. 156.Further provision as to costs

      22. 157.Appeals and jurisdiction

    4. Consequences of finding by election court of corrupt or illegal practice

      1. 158.Report as to candidate guilty of a corrupt or illegal practice

      2. 159.Candidate reported guilty of corrupt or illegal practice

      3. 160.Persons reported personally guilty of corrupt or illegal practices

    5. Director of Public Prosecutions' duty to report corrupt practice

      1. 161.Justice of the peace

      2. 162.Member of legal and certain other professions

      3. 163.Holder of licence or certificate under Licensing Acts

    6. Further provision as to avoidance of elections and striking off votes

      1. 164.Avoidance of election for general corruption etc.

      2. 165.Avoidance of election for employing corrupt agent

      3. 166.Votes to be struck off for corrupt or illegal practices

    7. Power to except innocent act from being illegal practice, payment, employment or hiring

      1. 167.Application for relief

    8. Prosecutions for corrupt or illegal practices

      1. 168.Prosecutions for corrupt practices

      2. 169.Prosecutions for illegal practices

      3. 170.Conviction of illegal practice on charge of corrupt practice etc.

      4. 171.Election petition offences in England and Wales and Northern Ireland

      5. 172.Election petition offences in Scotland

      6. 173.Incapacities on conviction of corrupt or illegal practice

    9. Mitigation and remission of incapacities

      1. 174.Mitigation and remission etc.

    10. Illegal payments, employments or hirings

      1. 175.Illegal payments etc.

    11. General provisions as to prosecutions

      1. 176.Time limit for prosecutions

      2. 177.Local election offence punishable summarily

      3. 178.Prosecution of offences committed outside United Kingdom

      4. 179.Offences by associations

      5. 180.Evidence by certificate of holding of elections

      6. 181.Director of Public Prosecutions

    12. Supplemental

      1. 182.Rules of procedure

      2. 183.Costs

      3. 184.Service of notices

      4. 185.Interpretation of Part III

      5. 186.Computation of time for purposes of Part III

  5. Part IV Special Provisions as to Other Local Elections

    1. England and Wales, and Scotland

      1. 187.Application of Act to certain local elections

      2. 188.Parts II and III as to local elections in Scotland

      3. 189.Voting offences at certain local elections

      4. 190.Voting offences at election of councillors in Scotland

    2. The City

      1. 191.Municipal elections in the City

      2. 192.Corrupt and illegal practices lists

      3. 193.Personation and other voting offences

      4. 194.Broadcasting

      5. 195.Disturbances at meetings

      6. 196.Costs or expenses

      7. 197.Candidate's expenses: ward, and liverymen in common hall, elections

      8. 198.Effect of avoidance of election to corporate office

  6. Part V General and Supplemental

    1. Supplemental

      1. 199.Translations of statutory forms into Welsh language

      2. 200.Public notices, and declarations

      3. 201.Regulations

    2. Interpretation

      1. 202.General provisions as to interpretation

      2. 203.Local government provisions as to England and Wales

    3. Scotland and Northern Ireland

      1. 204.General application to Scotland

      2. 205.General application to Northern Ireland

    4. Operation

      1. 206.Transitional and saving provisions, amendments and repeals

      2. 207.Citation and commencement

    1. Schedule 1

      Parliamentary Elections Rules

      1. Part I Provisions as to Time

        1. Timetable

          1. 1.Timetable

        2. Computation of time

          1. 2.Computation of tune

      2. Part II Stages Common to Contested and Uncontested ElectionsIssue of Writ and Notice of Election

        1. Issue of writ

          1. 3.Issue of writ

        2. Conveyance of writ to acting returning officer

          1. 4.Conveyance of writ to acting returning officer

        3. Notice of election

          1. 5.Notice of election

        4. Nomination of candidates

          1. 6.Nomination of candidates

        5. Subscription of nomination paper

          1. 7.Subscription of nomination paper

        6. Consent to nomination

          1. 8.Consent to nomination

        7. Deposit

          1. 9.Deposit

        8. Place for delivery of nomination papers

          1. 10.Place for delivery of nomination papers

        9. Right to attend nomination

          1. 11.Right to attend nomination

        10. Decisions as to validity of nomination papers

          1. 12.Decisions as to validity of nomination papers

        11. Withdrawal of candidates

          1. 13.Withdrawal of candidates

        12. Publication of statement of persons nominated

          1. 14.Publication of statement of persons nominated

        13. Disqualification by Representation of the People Act 1981

          1. 15.Disqualification by Representation of the People Act 1981

        14. Adjournment of nomination proceedings in case of riot

          1. 16.Adjournment of nomination proceedings in case of riot

        15. Method of election

          1. 17.Method of election

      3. Part III Contested Elections General Provisions

        1. Poll to be taken by ballot

          1. 18.Poll to be taken by ballot

        2. The ballot papers

          1. 19.The ballot papers

        3. The official mark

          1. 20.The official mark

        4. Prohibition of disclosure of vote

          1. 21.Prohibition of disclosure of vote

        5. Use of schools and public rooms

          1. 22.Use of schools and public rooms

        6. Notice of poll

          1. 23.Notice of poll

        7. Postal ballot papers

          1. 24.Postal ballot papers

        8. Provision of polling stations

          1. 25.Provision of polling stations

        9. Appointment of presiding officers and clerks

          1. 26.Appointment of presiding officers and clerks

        10. Special lists

          1. 27.Special lists

        11. Issue of official poll cards

          1. 28.Issue of official poll cards

        12. Equipment of polling stations

          1. 29.Equipment of polling stations

        13. Appointment of polling and counting agents

          1. 30.Appointment of polling and counting agents

        14. Declaration of secrecy

          1. 31.Declaration of secrecy

        15. The Poll

          Admission to polling station

          1. 32.Admission to polling station

        16. Keeping of order in station

          1. 33.Keeping of order in station

        17. Sealing of ballot boxes

          1. 34.Sealing of ballot boxes

        18. Questions to be put to voters

          1. 35.Questions to be put to voters

        19. Challenge of voter

          1. 36.Challenge of voter

        20. Voting procedure

          1. 37.Voting procedure

        21. Votes marked by presiding officer

          1. 38.Votes marked by presiding officer

        22. Voting by blind persons

          1. 39.Voting by blind persons

        23. Tendered ballot papers

          1. 40.Tendered ballot papers

        24. Spoilt ballot papers

          1. 41.Spoilt ballot papers

        25. Adjournment of poll in case of riot

          1. 42.Adjournment of poll in case of riot

        26. Procedure on close of poll

          1. 43.Procedure on close of poll

        27. Attendance at counting of votes

          1. 44.Attendance at counting of votes

        28. The count

          1. 45.The count

        29. Re-count

          1. 46.Re-count

        30. Rejected ballot papers

          1. 47.Rejected ballot papers

        31. Decisions on ballot papers

          1. 48.Decisions on ballot-papers

        32. Equality of votes

          1. 49.Equality of votes

      4. Part IV Final Proceedings in Contested and Uncontested Elections

        1. Declaration of result

          1. 50.Declaration of result

        2. Return to the writ

          1. 51.Return to the writ

        3. Record of returns at Crown Office

          1. 52.Record of returns at Crown Office

        4. Return or forfeiture of candidate's deposit

          1. 53.Return or forfeiture of candidate's deposit

      5. Part V Disposal of Documents

        1. Sealing up of ballot papers

          1. 54.Sealing up of ballot papers

        2. Delivery of documents to Clerk of the Crown

          1. 55.Delivery of documents to Clerk of the Crown

        3. Orders for production of documents

          1. 56.Orders for production of documents

        4. Retention and public inspection of documents

          1. 57.Retention and public inspection of documents

        5. Disposal of documents in Scotland

          1. 58.Disposal of documents in Scotland

        6. Disposal of documents in Northern Ireland

          1. 59.Disposal of documents in Northern Ireland

      6. Part VI Death of Candidate

        1. Countermand or abandonment of poll on death of candidate

          1. 60.Countermand or abandonment of poll on death of candidate

        2. Form of writ

        3. Label or direction of writ

        4. Endorsement

        5. Certificate endorsed on writ

        6. Form of notice of election

        7. Form of nomination paper

        8. Form of Ballot Paper

        9. Directions as to printing the ballot paper

        10. Form of directions for the guidance of the voters in voting

        11. Form of declaration to be made by the companion of a blind voter

    2. Schedule 2

      Provisions Which May be Contained in Regulations as to Registration Etc

      1. 1.(1) Provisions prescribing the arrangements to be made for the...

      2. 2.Provisions imposing on registration officers the duty of requiring persons...

      3. 3.Provisions laying down a timetable for the preparation of the...

      4. 4.Provisions as to the manner in which service declarations, and...

      5. 5.(1) Provisions as to the evidence which shall or may...

      6. 6.Provisions as to the cases in which a claim or...

      7. 7.Provisions authorising a registration officer to require any person's evidence...

      8. 8.Provisions as to marking the register so as to distinguish...

      9. 9.Provisions as to marking the register so as to distinguish...

      10. 10.Provisions requiring copies of the electors lists, register and other...

      11. 11.Provisions authorising or requiring the registration officer to supply to...

      12. 12.Provisions as to the proceedings in connection with the issue...

      13. 13.(1) Provisions imposing pecuniary penalties (not exceeding level 3 on...

    3. Schedule 3

      Return and Declarations as to Election Expenses

      1. Receipts

      2. Expenditure

      3. Signature of declarant.......................

    4. Schedule 4

      Election Expenses at Certain Local Elections in England and Wales

      1. 1.(1) Any claim against any person in respect of any...

      2. 2.Every agent of a candidate at the election shall, within...

      3. 3.Within 28 days after the day of election every candidate...

      4. 4.(1) After the expiry of the time for making the...

      5. 5.If the candidate fails to make that return and declaration...

      6. 6.The High Court, an election court or the county court...

      7. 7.(1) If the candidate applies to the High Court, an...

      8. 8.(1) The return and declaration shall be kept at the...

      9. 9.For the purposes of this Schedule— (a) the jurisdiction vested...

    5. Schedule 5

      Use for Parliamentary Election Meetings of Rooms in School Premises and of Meeting Rooms

      1. 1.(1) Any arrangements for the use of a room in...

      2. 2.(1) Every local education authority shall prepare and revise for...

      3. 3.(1) Every district and London borough council shall prepare and...

      4. 4.The lists of rooms in school premises and of meeting...

      5. 5.In the event of a dissolution, or of a vacancy...

      6. 6.In the application of this Schedule to Scotland—

    6. Schedule 6

      Ward Elections in the City

      1. 1.Without prejudice to the application of any provision of this...

      2. 2.Notwithstanding anything in section 6(1) of the City Act—

      3. 3.Ward fists and provisional ward lists shall give for any...

      4. 4.Claims and objections asking for the omission, insertion or alteration...

      5. 5.Any power under this Act to prescribe the form of...

      6. 6.Nothing in this Act affects the operation of subsections (3)...

    7. Schedule 7

      Transitional and Saving Provisions, and Interpretation of other Acts

      1. Part I Transitional and Saving Provisions

        1. General

          1. 1.Where a period of time specified in an enactment repealed...

          2. 2.The imposition or subsistence of an incapacity is not affected...

        2. Electoral Law Act (Northern Ireland) 1962

          1. 3.Notwithstanding the repeal by this Act of section 1(3) of...

        3. Licensing Act 1964

          1. 4.Notwithstanding the repeal by this Act of section 24(2) of...

        4. Northern Ireland Constitution Act 1973

          1. 5.So far as sections 8(4) and 26 of this Act...

        5. Variation of limits of candidates' election expenses

          1. 6.Notwithstanding the revocation by this Act of the Representation of...

        6. Section 254 of the Local Government Act 1972

          1. 7.Any power exercisable under section 254 of the Local Government...

        7. Criminal Justice Act 1982

          1. 8.In the Table below— (a) the first column sets out...

        8. Mental Health (Amendment) Act 1982

          1. 9.Notwithstanding the repeal by this Act of section 4(3) of...

      2. Part II Interpretation of Other Acts

        1. Register, electors, etc.

          1. 10.(1) A reference in any Act (whenever passed) to—

        2. Registration and returning officers

          1. 11.A reference in any Act (whenever passed) to—

        3. Registration expenses

          1. 12.A reference in any Act (whenever passed) to registration expenses...

        4. Supplemental

          1. 13.(1) Subject to this paragraph, the provisions of paragraphs 10...

    8. Schedule 8

      Consequential Amendments Acts

      1. Public Meeting Act 1908

        1. 1.After subsection (3) of section 1 of the Public Meeting...

      2. City of London (Various Powers) Act 1957

        1. 2.In section 4 of the City of London (Various Powers)...

        2. 3.In section 8 of the City of London (Various Powers)...

        3. 4.In section 9(4) of the City of London (Various Powers)...

      3. City of London (Various Powers) Act 1960

        1. 5.In section 39 of the City of London (Various Powers)...

      4. London Government Act 1963

        1. 6.In Schedule 3 to the London Government Act 1963— (a)...

      5. Licensing Act 1964

        1. 7.In section 12(2) of the Licensing Act 1964 for "...

        2. 8.In section 67(5) of the Licensing Act 1964, for "...

        3. 9.In section 67(6) of the Licensing Act 1964—

        4. 10.In Schedule 8 to the Licensing Act 1964—

      6. Post Office Act 1969

        1. 11.In section 72(1) of the Post Office Act 1969 for...

      7. Local Government Act 1972

        1. 12.In the following provisions of the Local Government Act 1972...

        2. 13.In section 89(6) of the Local Government Act 1972 for...

        3. 14.In paragraphs 18(5) and 34(5) of Schedule 12 to the...

      8. Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973

        1. 15.In the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973—

        2. 16.In paragraph (b) of section 64(5) of the Local Government...

      9. Juries Act 1974

        1. 17.In section 3(1) of the Juries Act 1974, for "...

      10. House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975

        1. 18.In section 6(3) of the House of Commons Disqualification Act...

        2. 19.For section 10 of the House of Commons Disqualification Act...

        3. 20.In Part III of Schedule 1 to the House of...

      11. European Assembly Elections Act 1978

        1. 21.In section 4(2) of the European Assembly Elections Act 1978—...

        2. 22.In paragraph (b) of section 7(2) of the European Assembly...

        3. 23.In paragraph 4(2) of Schedule 1 to the European Assembly...

      12. Judicature (Northern Ireland) Act 1978

        1. 24.In paragraph (h) of section 35(2) of the Judicature (Northern...

        2. 25.In section 108(1) of the Judicature (Northern Ireland) Act 1978...

      13. Supreme Court Act 1981

        1. 26.In section 142(1) of the Supreme Court Act 1981, for...

      14. Mental Health (Amendment) Act 1982

        1. 27.In section 70(2) of the Mental Health (Amendment) Act 1982...

      15. Legal Aid, Advice and Assistance (Northern Ireland) Order 1981

        1. 28.In Schedule 1 to the Legal Aid, Advice and Assistance...

    9. Schedule 9

      Repeals and Revocations

      1. Part I Repeals of Obsolete Provisions

      2. Part II Consequential Repeals

      3. Part III Consequential Revocations

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