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Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000

Section 135 : Meaning of “candidate”

235.Section 135 amends the definition of a “candidate” currently in section 118 of the Representation of the People Act 1983. The new definition is contained in a separate section, section 118A, in the 1983 Act which is inserted by subsection (2). The definition of a candidate is relevant to determining the date from which the restrictions on incurring election expenses apply. The revised definition makes two substantial changes. First, in relation both to a parliamentary and a local government election, the reference to a candidate who is elected is omitted; this will ensure that sitting MPs and councillors are treated on an equal footing with other candidates. The second change is that the definition of a local government candidate now includes a starting time for a person’s candidature, namely the last day for the publication of the notice of election (that is, 25 working days before the date of the election). The definition of a candidate in a local government election is also expanded to cover an election of the London members of the Greater London Authority. To avoid election expenses being incurred before that time in an attempt to evade the limit on election expenditure, new section 90A(2) of the 1983 Act (as inserted by section 134) provides that any expenditure on property, goods, services or facilities, purchased in advance of the relevant time but used after it, will nonetheless need to be accounted for as election expenses.

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