Category Archives: Election law

The Election Law Channel is dedicated to coverage of UK election law, giving unrivalled detailed news of election law matters, explaining complex matters in plain English and setting out the practical relevance of technical legal provisions.

UK electoral law is fragmented, convoluted and causing errors

So writes Toby James:

There has recently been a rise in concerns about the quality of elections in the UK and electoral administrators have commonly been blamed for making administrative errors or not planning properly for elections.

The causes of legal fragmentation and complexity are partly devolution. This has created many overlapping frameworks of electoral law, more frequent elections and more combined elections and the lack of consolidation. But it is also that electoral law needs to be consolidated periodically and this has not been done since the 1980s.

Read his piece in full to find out what is being done about that.

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Election law snippets

MPs who suffer mental health problems will benefit from the government’s decision to back a Bill going through Parliament:

The Deputy Prime Minister announced that the Government is backing the Mental Health (Discrimination) Bill brought forward by Gavin Barwell MP, which receives Second Reading in the House of Commons today.

The Bill repeals section 141 of the Mental Health Act, which sets out that an MP automatically loses their seat if detained under the Act for more than six months. It also amends similar discriminatory provisions in legislation concerning

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Pendle investigates claims of postal vote fraud

News via the BBC:

The council’s chief executive Stephen Barnes had written a letter to the Electoral Commission last year, saying allegations and perceptions of malpractice around postal voting “are seriously undermining public confidence in the whole electoral process”.

In the letter, the council cited examples of probable malpractice and the difficulties in taking action…

The leader of the borough council’s Labour Group, Councillor Mohammad Iqbal, said his party had won seats from the Conservatives fairly, adding: “There isn’t a problem in Pendle”…

The panel, consisting of cross-party councillors and representatives, will gather evidence at five public hearings across the borough.

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LibLink: Mark Pack – Give people power over the sharing of their data

The Voice‘s Mark Pack has been writing about individual electoral registration for the IPPR’s website:

If I were to move, I would be quite happy to let the gas company, the TV Licensing authority, the local council’s tax department, the electoral registration services and many others know, all in one go.

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Labour Police Commissioner candidate set to defy ban on magistrates

As if two Labour candidates for Police and Crime Commissioner posts running into problems with past misdeeds wasn’t enough, now a third is set to defy the ban on magistrates standing:

Lee Barron, the Labour candidate for the new post, has revealed how is prepared to refuse to stand down as a magistrate before the election, which will be held in November.

Guidance issued last Friday by a senior judge has effectively barred magistrates from standing for the post, which in Northamptonshire comes with an estimated £70,000 salary…

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Second Labour Police Commissioner candidate falls foul of “exceptionally tough condition of eligibility”

Alan Charles has now joined Bob Ashford in standing down as a Labour candidate for November’s Police and Crime Commissioner elections due to a youthful brush with the law.

His statement points the finger at the Home Office and Electoral Commission:

The Labour Party has only now received clarification from the Home Office and the Electoral Commission that juvenile convictions for imprisonable offences will bar people from becoming a police and crime commissioner.

That is, however, not quite the full story because this issue was directly debated when the legislation was going …

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How Parliament walked eyes wide open into the Bob Ashford mess

Would-be Labour Police and Crime Commissioner candidate Bob Ashford is rightly getting a positive press and sympathy from across the political spectrum today for discovering he’s disqualified from standing thanks to a £5 fine he paid 46 years ago.

It is absurd that he can’t stand. It is an absurdity that Parliament deliberately decided to enact, for the ban does not arise from unintended side effects of another measure or from poor drafting. Instead, it was a deliberate decision to introduce an unprecedented restriction on who can stand in the Police …

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