All local authorities are under a duty to review their UK Parliamentary polling districts and polling places at least once every four years.
- A polling district is a geographical area created by the sub-division of a constituency, ward or division into smaller parts.
- A polling place is the building or area in which polling stations will be selected by the (Acting) Returning Officer.
In England, each parish is a separate polling district and in Wales, each community should be a separate polling district, unless there are special circumstances.
Right to appeal
Following a local authority’s review, certain persons have a right to appeal:
- an interested authority in England and Wales (namely a parish council or parish meeting in England, or a council of a community in Wales).
- not less than 30 electors in the constituency.
- a person (other than the Returning Officer) who has made representations under Schedule A1 to the Representation of the People Act 1983. Schedule A1 provides, among other things, that representations may be made by any elector in a constituency situated in whole or in part in the authority’s area.
- a person who is not an elector in a constituency in the authority’s area but who the Commission think has either sufficient interest in the accessibility of disabled persons to polling places in the area or has particular expertise in relation to the access to premises and facilities for disabled persons.
Grounds for an appeal
Appeals can only be made on the grounds that the local authority has, in conducting its review, either:
- failed to meet the reasonable requirements of the electors (or any body of electors) in the constituency, or
- failed to take sufficient account of the accessibility of polling stations to disabled persons.
For more information, please read our guidance on polling place reviews and appeals.
Appeals should be made directly to the Electoral Commission. If we receive representations from one of the persons mentioned above which fall within one or both the grounds mentioned above, we will consider the appeal.
On the outcome of an appeal, the Commission may, if appropriate:
- direct the local authority to make any alterations to the polling places designated by the review which the Commission think necessary in the circumstances.
- if the authority fails to make the alterations before the end of the period of two months starting on the day the direction is given, make the alterations themselves.
For more information on polling place reviews and making representations to the Commission, please read our guidance on polling place reviews and appeals. Paragraph 6 sets out the appeals process in more detail.
For details of our previous appeal decisions, please visit our polling place appeal decisions webpage.
If you are one of the persons mentioned above and would like to make a representation which falls within one or both the grounds mentioned above, you can send your representation to:
The Electoral Commission
3 Bunhill Row
London EC1Y 8YZ
Tel: 020 7271 0500
Fax: 020 7271 0505