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Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000

Section 132 : Financial Limits applying to candidates’ election expenses

227.Section 132 amends section 76 of the Representation of the People Act 1983. Subsection (2) inserts a new section 76(1) in place of the existing provision. The effect of the new subsection is to align this provision with the new definition of election expenses in new section 90A (inserted by section 134). Subsection (4) inserts new subsection (1B) into section 76 of the 1983 Act. This new subsection re-casts the criminal offence of exceeding the election expenses limit so that it is in similar terms to parallel offences created by this Act in respect of, for example, campaign expenditure by political parties. Subsection (3) makes consequential amendments to section 76(1A) which is concerned with elections to the Greater London Authority.

228.Under section 76(2) of the 1983 Act, the expenditure limit for parliamentary by-elections is presently limited by a formula based upon whether the constituency is a borough or a county constituency and the number of registered voters in the constituency (the average is some £34,000). The Neill Committee observed that the limits on by-election expenditure imposed by the existing formula were unrealistic, given the intensity of by-election campaigns, and recommended that a higher maximum be set. Subsection (5) increases to £100,000 the maximum amount a candidate may spend at a parliamentary by-election. This new flat-rate limit applies to all constituencies.

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