The independent elections watchdog
and regulator of party and election finance

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Candidate or agent

Candidates and their agents must follow certain rules set out in legislation. We provide guidance to help candidates and agents comply with the rules. You do not have to follow this guidance, but if you do, you will normally be doing enough to comply with the law. On this page you will find links to all the different elections that we produce guidance for.

We have produced a document for people who want to know the basics about elections, the roles of different organisations and where to find more information.

Our guidance for elections covers:

  • standing for election
  • campaigning
  • accepting donations
  • spending money
  • your rights as a candidate, including access to election proceedings
  • reporting after the election

Important dates for May 2016 elections

Dates to receive and pay your invoices

 Latest date to
ElectionDate the result is declaredReceive your invoicesPay your invoices
All elections on 5 May 2016
(except Parish elections)
Thursday 5 May Thursday 26 May Thursday 2 June
Friday 6 May Friday 27 May Friday 3 June
Saturday 7 May or Sunday 8 May Tuesday 31 May Monday 6 June

Dates to submit your spending returns

 Scottish Parliament and National Assembly of Wales (constituency and independent regional candidates), Northern Ireland Assembly, Local Government (except parish), GLA constituency candidatesGLA mayoral and London wide and PCC candidates
Date the result is declaredSubmit your return bySubmit your return by
Thursday 5 May Thursday 9 June 2016 Thursday 14 July 2016
Friday 6 May Friday 10 June 2016 Friday 15 July 2016
Saturday 7 May or Sunday 8 May Monday 13 June 2016 Monday 18 July 2016

How we can help

As well as our guidance, we are happy to answer questions and give advice. We are here to help, so please get in touch.

If you have a question about standing for election, please call or email your local Commission team in England, or your local office in Wales or Scotland. For information on standing for election in Northern Ireland, contact The Electoral Office for Northern Ireland.

If you have a question about campaigning, accepting donations, spending money or reporting after the election, please call 020 7271 0616 or email pef@electoralcommission.org.uk

Between elections, there are rules on donations to certain individuals for political purposes. If you are a prospective candidate and you belong to a registered party please also see our page for regulated individuals.

Candidate or agent