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Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000

Ordinary elections to Welsh Assembly

162.Paragraph 6 of Schedule 9 sets out the campaign expenditure limits for ordinary elections to the Welsh Assembly (the Government of Wales Act 1998 makes no provision for extraordinary elections). The expenditure limits are calculated by reference to the number of constituencies and/or regions contested by a party. A party receives an allowance of £10,000 for each constituency contested and of £40,000 for each region contested. Under the provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2 of Schedule 1 to the Government of Wales Act there are 40 Assembly constituencies each returning one AM and five Assembly electoral regions each returning four regional AMs. Accordingly, the maximum amount of campaign expenditure a party could incur if it stood for election in all constituencies and regions is £600,000.

163.These limits on campaign expenditure by parties in ordinary elections to the Welsh Assembly will replace those contained in Article 47 of the National Assembly for Wales (Representation of the People) Order 1999 (SI 1999/450).

164.Paragraph 6(3) provides that the relevant period during which the campaign expenditure limits will normally apply is the four-month period before the date of the poll. Section 3(2) of the Government of Wales Act provides (subject to section 3(3)) that ordinary elections are held on the first Thursday in May in the fourth calendar year following that in which the previous ordinary election was held. Section 3(3) of the 1998 Act makes provision for the date of the poll to be brought forward or moved back by no more than one month. Subject to the exercise of the power in section 3(3), the next ordinary election to the National Assembly will therefore be held on Thursday 1 May 2003 and the relevant period for that election will commence on 2 January 2003.

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