Tag Archives: political parties and elections act 2009

The Political Parties and Elections Act 2009 introduced a series of major changes in UK electoral law, including the rules over candidate donations and constituency expenditure. We’ve covered in depth on Liberal Democrat Voice what these changes mean and their impact. You can get a pdf guide, based on some of our posts, here.

More provisions of the Political Parties and Elections Act 2009 kick in

In a written answer in Parliament this week, Jack Straw confirmed that several more parts of the Polities Parties and Elections Act 2009 are now kicking in or will do so soon. There don’t look to be any surprises in the list and dates he’s given. Most importantly, the new election expense provisions with a long and short campaign period are taking force as expected.

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New electoral registration rules now in force for elections

Good news: this time, it is a change in election law that is a jolly good thing. In the past, although the electoral register is updated each month, there was a pause over the summer and early autumn whilst councils carry out their big annual update. That means that for elections held during the pause, there was no way for people who had recently moved in to the area to get on the register. They therefore lost their right to vote in the election.

But now new rules, which came into force on 4 September, mean that such people who have recently moved in can get on the register and vote.

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The Political Parties and Elections Act 2009: changes to election expenditure rules

Cross-posted from The Wardman Wire:

Hands up everyone who thought the problem with current rules for controlling constituency expenditure was that they work if a Parliament last for four years but not if it lasts for five? Nobody? Oh well, that’s the basis on which Parliament has just changed the law anyway.

This provision of the Political Parties and Elections Act 2009 has its roots in a sensible concern, but along the way disagreements between parties and lack of understanding of how campaigns actually operate has landed us with this rather odd change in the law.

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Tax-exiles get a new lease of life as political donors

From today’s Observer:

A much-publicised law designed to stop wealthy tax exiles bankrolling political parties has been quietly dropped until after a general election, the Observer has learned.

The disclosure means that key Labour donors such as Lakshmi Mittal as well as Tory donor Lord Ashcroft will still be able to pump millions of pounds into the forthcoming election campaign, despite promises to curb the influence of wealthy backers. It has prompted accusations that the government has “nobbled” an act of parliament by failing to ask the electoral commission to enforce the rule.

Lord Oakeshott, the Liberal Democrat treasury spokesman, said he

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Politics, money and elections: what changes with the Political Parties and Elections Act 2009?

Cross-posted from The Wardman Wire:

The last year certainly hasn’t been a quiet one when it comes to controversies over how parties raise and spend money. Whilst the massive and long-running story of MPs’ expenses has rather overshadowed the previous stories, Royal Assent has just been given to the Political Parties and Elections Act 2009, which is intended to deal with the issues thrown up by those previous events.

New rules on political donations

The changes are intended both to reduce the administrative burden on volunteers such as local party treasurers but also to ensure that more information is revealed as to the actual sources of money received by parties or candidates.

Question over the actual origin of money given to parties have come up in the cases such as David Abrahams’s donations to Labour (where he provided money to intermediaries who then donated to Labour and whose names were those in the public donations records) and the Midlands Industrial Council (who took money from individuals and in turn made donations to Conservatives, but with the MIC being declared as the donor).

In future donations will have to be accompanied with a declaration as to the source of the money (dealing with the David Abrahams type situation). Unincorporated associations making donations of over £25,000 in a year will have to reveal the source of donations to themselves of more than £7,500 (dealing, at least in part, with the Midlands Industrial Council type situation, though that £7,500 is a fairly generous figure).

There has also been ongoing controversy over whether tax exiles and similar should be able to donate.

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Lords vote to ban tax exiles and non-doms from donating to political parties

Today’s Guardian reports on yesterday’s move by the House of Lords to accept an amendment which will ban tax exiles and non-doms from making a donation to British political parties. The amendment was moved by rebel Labour peer Lord (Dale) Campbell-Savours and backed by Lib Dem peers.

Peers last night voted to ban non-residents and so called “non-doms” from donating to political parties, in defiance of the Labour and Conservative frontbenches. A backbench Labour amendment, designed to force the Tory donor Lord Ashcroft to clarify his tax affairs, was passed by 107 votes to 85, a majority of 22.


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