The Independent View: Countdown to the Election

Lib Dem Voice has received this article from Matrix Chambers, a law firm that specialises in election law. It offers the opportunity to sign up for weekly briefings during the election period.

It’s trite to say, but we are just weeks away from the most important General Election in a generation – especially for those interested in election law. The culture of fighting elections – and the public’s role within that – has changed in recent years owing to new technology. There is now also new (and untested) legislation restricting the actions of professional third party campaigners.

Historically, the regulation of elections was largely based around the idea that candidates and their parties had the monopoly on campaign means and methods – and so can and should be held accountable for the actions of their supporters. However, it’s never been easier for people to campaign publicly for or against a party or candidate, or to set up their own pressure group, easily co-ordinated through social media and online. For a long time now, anyone with a computer and printer has been in a position to publish hundreds of leaflets cheaply and privately.

Alongside this, as trust in politicians has dipped, third party endorsements have become more and more important to candidates – whether from celebrities, NGOs, or voters’ friends and neighbours – parties are doing what they can to encourage their supporters to take up the war of words directly.  So, over the next 6 weeks, we’ll be looking at the vital issue of freedom of expression at election time in more detail as part of Matrix’s Countdown to the election briefings. These will be sent out each Friday by email and published on our election law practice area page.

The six briefings on a series of topics are: (1) the protection of political expression; (2) lobbying and third-party campaigning; (3) election offences; (4) coverage of election campaigns; (5) party political broadcasts; and (6) defamation and privacy.

In the first edition, Antony White QC and Anthony Hudson QC will be looking at freedom of speech & article 10: the protection of political expression – you can find the full briefing here.

We hope you enjoy this week’s edition; next week we’ll be looking at lobbying and third party campaigning. Please get in touch if you have comments, questions, or if you or anyone else would like to receive these briefings.

* Anthony Fairclough is head of Matrix’s legal information and research team and is an editor of and contributor to the UK Supreme Court Blog.

Read more by or more about or .
This entry was posted in The Independent View.


  • Interesting article from Anthony Fairclough of Matrix. I followed some of the links. It would take me the next seven weeks to read half of what is contained in this very rich contribution.

    My eyes did get drawn to this —
    “… Carina Trimingham v Associated Newspapers Ltd.35,
    the Court held that the claimant was a not a private individual because of her work as the press officer of one of the leading politicians in the country.”

    A timely reminder for anyone involved in media work for the party over the next few weeks. 🙁

  • James BLESSING 30th Mar '15 - 4:45pm

    Of course their are other sources of news about what you can/’t do in the next 6 weeks…

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?


Recent Comments

  • Nonconformistradical
    @Peter Martin "I don’t know where these silly ideas about all businesses being evil" If a business exists which exploits its employees (underpaying them, ...
  • John Marriott
    @Peter Martin Still playing the devil’s advocate, hey, and stirring up all those poor Lib Dems? Personally speaking, I’ve got no problems with home ownersh...
  • Nonconformistradical
    @john oundle "Spot on, voters have had it up to their necks with Brexit" Irrespective of what voters might think - could it be that Brexit (its impacts) have ...
  • John Marriott
    “ O wad some Pow’r / the giftie gie us / To see oursels as / ithers see us! “ I hope that some Lib Dems will take Rabbie’s advice. PS I bet the h...
  • Barrie Coker
    While I personally would be happy to rejoin the EU today as a full member with no opt-outs/rebates I really don't get the feeling from many friends / family tha...