This page outlines key pieces of legislation that govern our work.
Local Electoral Administration (Scotland) Act 2011
The Local Electoral Administration (Scotland) Act 2011 was passed by the Scottish Parliament and extended the Commission’s statutory remit to cover local government elections in Scotland.
This new extended remit includes setting standards for the running of these elections and monitoring Returning Officers performance against these standards; running a public awareness campaign so that voters know how to participate in the elections; operating an observer’s scheme and reporting to the Scottish Parliament on how well the elections were run.
The Act also provides a statutory role for the Electoral Management Board in Scotland in coordinating the work of Returning Officers for the delivery of local government elections and gives the Elections Convener the power to direct other Returning Officers and Electoral Registration Officers in the discharge of their duties.
Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010
The Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010 includes provisions about the counting of votes at UK general elections. The new provisions give (Acting) Returning Officers a responsibility to take reasonable steps to begin counting the votes on ballot papers as soon as practicable within four hours of the close of poll.
The Act also requires those (Acting) Returning Officers who do not start counting by 2am to provide the Commission with a statement setting out the time at which counting did begin, the steps which had been taken to comply with the new duty and the reasons why the counting of votes had not commenced within four hours of the close of poll.
We have produced guidance for (Acting) Returning Officers about the provision in the Act
Political Parties and Elections Act 2009
The PPE Act amended previous legislation, including changing electoral registration for elections during the canvass and allows candidates to remove their full addresses from ballot papers.
It introduced a range of significant changes to how political parties are regulated.
- This Summary guide (PDF) gives more details on the changes the Act introduced, who these will affect and how to find out more.
We are preparing to make use of new enforcement powers and flexible sanctions relating to party and election finances given to us in the PPE Act. We have published a number of documents to inform debate in Parliament on this subject.
- For more information visit our enforcement page.
Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009
The LDEDC Act transferred responsibility for setting local government boundaries from the Electoral Commission to the new Local Government Boundary Commission for England. Read more in our news release.
Electoral Administration Act 2006
The Electoral Administration Act 2006 (EAA) makes provisions relating to the registration of electors, standing for election, the administration and conduct of elections, the regulation of political parties and encouragement of participation in elections.
Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000
The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA) established the Commissions and its powers and responsibilities. There is more information on our role and responsibilities page.
The Act sets out:
- the Commission’s role, governance and functions
- rules on political parties’ registration, finance and campaigning
- rules on promotional material and campaigning in referendums
- rules on spending for registered campaigners
Representation of the People Act (1981, 1983, 2000 and 2001)
Visit the OPSI website for the full text of the following:
The Representation of the People Act sets out certain rules around electoral registration, the franchise and its exercise, the conduct of UK general elections and election campaigns.