Search Legislation

Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000

  • Explanatory Notes Table of contents

Please note:

All reference to 'Parts' and 'sections' are from the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000. For other versions of these Explanatory Notes, see More Resources.

  1. Introduction

  2. Summary

    1. Part I : The Electoral Commission

    2. Part II : Registration of Political Parties

    3. Part III : Accounting requirements for registered parties

    4. Part IV : Control of donations to registered parties and their members

    5. Part V : Control of campaign expenditure

    6. Part VI : Controls relating to third party national election campaigns

    7. Part VII : Referendums

    8. Part VIII : Election campaigns and proceedings

    9. Part IX : Political donations and expenditure by companies

    10. Part X : Miscellaneous and general

  3. Background

    1. Overview of the Neill Committee report and the Government’s response

      1. The role of political parties

      2. Donations to political parties

      3. Third parties

      4. An Electoral Commission

      5. Referendums

  4. The Act : Overview

    1. Part I : The Electoral Commission

    2. Part II : Registration of political parties

    3. Part III : Accounting requirements for registered parties

    4. Part IV : Control of donations to registered parties and their members

    5. Part V : Control of campaign expenditure

    6. Part VI : Controls relating to third party national election campaigns

    7. Part VII : Referendums

    8. Part VIII : Election campaigns and proceedings

    9. Part IX : Political donations and expenditure by companies

    10. Part X : Miscellaneous and general

  5. Commentary on Sections

    1. Part 1: The Electoral Commission

      1. Sections 1 to 4 and Schedules 1 and 2 : Establishment of Electoral Commission and bodies with related functions

      2. Commission’s general functions

        1. Section 5 : Reports on elections and referendums

        2. Section 6 : Reviews of electoral and political matters

        3. Section 7 : Commission to be consulted on changes to electoral law

        4. Section 8 : Powers with respect to elections exercisable only on Commission’s recommendation

        5. Section 9 : Involvement of Commission in changes in electoral procedures

        6. Section 10 : Giving of advice and assistance

        7. Section 11 : Broadcasters to have regard to Commission’s views on party political broadcasts

        8. Section 12 : Policy development grants

        9. Section 13 : Education about electoral and democratic systems

      3. Commission’s electoral boundary functions

        1. Section 14 : Boundary Committees

        2. Section 16 : Transfer of functions of Boundary Commissions

        3. Section 18 : Transfer of functions of Local Government Commission for England

        4. Section 19 : Transfer of functions of Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland

        5. Section 20 : Transfer of functions of Local Government Boundary Commission for Wales

    2. Part II: Registration of political parties

      1. Section 22 : Parties to be registered in order to field candidates at elections

      2. Section 23 : The new registers

      3. Section 24 : Office-holders to be registered

      4. Section 25 : Parties with campaigns officers

      5. Section 26 : Financial structure of registered parties : adoption of scheme

      6. Section 27 : Financial structure of registered party : accounting units

      7. Section 28 to 33 : Registration

      8. Section 34 : Registration of minor parties

      9. Section 35 : Request by Secretary of State

      10. Section 36 : Assistance by Commission for existing registered parties

        1. Clauses 37 to 40 : Supplemental

    3. Part III: Accounting requirements

      1. Section 41 : Duty to keep accounting records

      2. Section 42 : Annual statement of accounts

      3. Section 43 : Annual audits

      4. Section 44 : Supplementary provisions about auditors

      5. Section 45 : Submission of statements of accounts to Commission

      6. Section 46 : Public inspection of parties’ statements of accounts

      7. Section 47 : Criminal penalty for failure to submit proper statements of accounts

      8. Section 48 : Revision of defective statement of accounts

      9. Section 49 and Schedule 5 : Division of responsibilities in case of party with accounting units

    4. Part IV: Control of donations to registered parties and their members

      1. Chapter I (Sections 50 to 53) : Donations to registered parties

        1. Section 50 : Donations for the purposes of Part IV

        2. Section 51 : Sponsorship

        3. Section 52 : Payments, services not to be regarded as donations

        4. Section 53: Value of donations

      2. Chapter II (Sections 54 to 61) : Restrictions on donations to registered parties

        1. Section 54 : Permissible donors

        2. Section 55 : Payments which are (or are not) to be treated as donations by permissible donors.

        3. Sections 56 and 57: Acceptance or return of donations

        4. Sections 58 to 60 : Forfeiture of certain donations

        5. Section 61 : Offences concerned with evasion of restrictions on donations

      3. Chapter III (Sections 62 to 69) : Reporting of donations to registered parties

        1. Section 62 and Schedule 6 : Quarterly donation reports

        2. Section 63 : Weekly donation reports during general election periods

        3. Section 64 : Exemptions from section 63

        4. Section 65 : Submission of donation reports to Commission

        5. Section 66 : Declaration by treasurer in donation report

        6. Section 67 : Weekly donation reports in connection with elections other than general elections

        7. Section 68 : Reporting of multiple small donations

        8. Section 69 : Register of recordable donations

      4. Chapter IV (Section 70) : Power to make special provision

        1. Section 70: Special provision for Northern Ireland parties

      5. Chapter V (Section 71) : Control of donations to individuals and members associations

        1. Section 71 and Schedule 7 : Control of donations to individuals and members associations

    5. Part V: Control of campaign expenditure

      1. Section 72 and Schedule 8 : Campaign expenditure

      2. Section 73 : Notional campaign expenditure

      3. Section 74 : Officers of registered party with responsibility for campaign expenditure

      4. Sections 75 to 78 : General restrictions relating to election expenditure

      5. Section 79 and Schedule 9: Limits on campaign expenditure

        1. Parliamentary general elections

        2. General elections to European Parliament

        3. General elections to Scottish Parliament

        4. Ordinary elections to Welsh Assembly

        5. General elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly

        6. Limits applying in special circumstances

        7. Combination of elections to European Parliament and to devolved legislature

          1. Combined limits where parliamentary election pending

        8. Combination of limit under paragraph 9 and other limits

        9. Combination of parliamentary general election and other election, or elections, falling within paragraphs 4 to 8

      6. Sections 80 to 84 : Returns

    6. Part VI : Controls relating to third party national election campaigns

      1. Sections 85 to 87 : Controlled expenditure by third parties

      2. Sections 88 and 89 : Recognised third parties

      3. Sections 90 to 93 : General restrictions relating to controlled expenditure by recognised third parties

      4. Section 94 and Schedule 10 : Limits on controlled expenditure by third parties

      5. Section 95 and Schedule 11 : Control of donations to recognised third parties

      6. Sections 96 to 100: Returns

    7. Part VII : Referendums

      1. Section 101 : Referendums to which this Part applies

      2. Section 102: Referendum period

      3. Section 103 : Date of poll

      4. Section 104 : Referendum questions

      5. Section 105 : Permitted participants

      6. Section 106 : Declarations and notifications for purposes of section 105

      7. Section 107 : Register of declarations and notifications for the purposes of section 105

      8. Section 108 : Designation of organisations to whom assistance is available

      9. Section 109 : Applications for designation under section 108

      10. Section 110 and Schedule 12 : Assistance available to designated organisations

      11. Section 111 and Schedule 13 : Referendum expenses

      12. Section 112 : Notional referendum expenses

      13. Sections 113 to 116 : General restrictions relating to referendum expenses incurred by permitted participants

      14. Section 117 : General restriction on referendum expenses

      15. Section 118 and Schedule 14 : Special restrictions on referendum expenses by permitted participants

      16. Section 119 and Schedule 15 : Control of donations to permitted participants

      17. Sections 120 to 124 : Returns

      18. Section 125 : Restriction on publication of promotional material by central and local government,

      19. Section 126 : Details to appear on referendum material

      20. Section 127 : Referendum campaign broadcasts

      21. Sections 128 and 129 : Conduct of referendums

    8. Part VIII : Election campaigns and proceedings

      1. Section 130 and Schedule 16 : Control of donations to candidates

      2. Section 131 : Election expenses incurred otherwise than by candidate

      3. Section 132 : Financial Limits applying to candidates’ election expenses

      4. Section 133 : Power to vary provisions about election expenses

      5. Section 134 : Meaning of “election expenses”

      6. Section 135 : Meaning of “candidate”

      7. Section 136 : Corrupt and illegal practices : consequences for persons convicted of such practices

      8. Section 137 and Schedule 17 : Corrupt and illegal practices: election petitions

      9. Section 138 and Schedule 18 : Election campaigns and proceedings: miscellaneous amendments

    9. Part IX : Political donations and expenditure by companies

      1. Section 139 and Schedule 19 : Control of political donations by companies

        1. New Sections 347A and 347B : Introductory provisions and exemptions

        2. New Section 347C : Prohibition on donations and political expenditure by companies

        3. New Section 347D: Special rules for subsidiaries

        4. New Section 347E : Special rule for parent company of non-GB subsidiary undertaking

        5. Section 347F : Remedies for breach of prohibitions on company donations

        6. New Section 347G : Remedy for unauthorised donation or expenditure by non-GB subsidiary

        7. New Section 347H : Exemption of directors from liability in respect of unauthorised donations or expenditure

        8. New Section 347I : Enforcement of directors’ liabilities by shareholder action

        9. New Section 347J : Costs of shareholder action

        10. New Section 347K : Information for purposes of shareholder action

      2. Section 140 : Disclosure of political donations and expenditure in directors’ report

        1. Donations and expenditure within the UK/EU area

        2. Monetary donations or contributions to political parties in the rest of the world

    10. Part X : Miscellaneous and general

      1. Section 141 : Reduction of qualifying period for overseas electors

      2. Section 142 : Pre-consolidation amendments

      3. Section 143 : Details to appear on election material

      4. Section 144 : Broadcasting of local items during election period

      5. Section 145 : General function of Commission with respect to monitoring compliance with controls imposed by the Act

      6. Section 146 : Supervisory powers of Commission

      7. Section 147 : Civil penalty for failure to deliver documents

      8. Section 148 : General offences

      9. Section 149 : Inspection of Commission’s registers

      10. Sections 150 to 154 : Provisions relating to offences

      11. Section 155: Power to vary specified sums

      12. Section 156 : Orders and regulations

      13. Section 157 : Documents for purposes of the Act

      14. Section 158 : Minor and consequential amendments and repeals

    11. Schedule 21 : Minor and consequential amendments

    12. Section 159 : Financial provisions

    13. Section 160 : General interpretation

    14. Section 161 : Interpretation : donations

    15. Section 162 : Interpretation : exempt trust donations

    16. Section 163 : Short title, commencement, transitional provisions and extent

    17. Schedule 23 Part I : Transfer of registration of existing registered parties

    18. Schedule 23 Part II : Other transitional provisions

  6. Commencement

  7. Hansard References

  • Explanatory Notes Table of contents

Back to top

Options/Help

Print Options

Close

Explanatory Notes

Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.

Close

More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enactedversion that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources