The independent body which oversees elections and regulates political finance in the UK

Section menu

UK Parliamentary general election 2015

The rules for non-party campaigners at the UK Parliamentary general election held on 7 May 2015 are set out in our guidance below.

The rules are different for non-party campaigners campaigning at the elections to be held in May 2016. For these rules, please go to our 2016 elections page.

How to use the guidance documents 

Read more about how to use the guidance documents...

We provide guidance to help those we regulate to comply with the rules in the PPERA. The guidance explains the rules and what campaigners need to do to comply with them.

Our guidance documents are written in a four stage structure and are categorised as introductions, overviews, situations and procedures and expert papers according to the level of detail included in each document. Our guidance is published in this way so that campaigners can use the document which is relevant to their needs.

If you are new to the rules, we recommend that you start with the introductory guidance. If you are familiar with the rules, you may prefer to read the overview and situations and procedures guidance documents.

Where there are distinct categories of activity, we have produced a single document so that only campaigners engaging in that activity need to read it. This means you may not need to read all of the guidance.

We also have an illustrated Easy Read version of the guidance for charities that is available on request. The easy read version is designed to support people with a learning disability to better understand the rules.

Looking for guidance quickly?

All our guidance for the UKPGE 2015 is listed below, but you may prefer to get our guidance on particular topics more quickly. Please note that you may need to read other parts of the guidance as well to ensure that you are aware of all of the rules.

Regular updates for non-party campaigners

See all of our campaigner updates

Update for non-party campaigners No. 16 – 16 July 2015

  • submitting spending returns and our webcasts
  • where to find the template auditors report
  • Government review of third party spending
  • our report on the 2015 election
  • May 2016 polls
  • how to sign up for our referendum updates

Update for non-party campaigners No.15 – 28 May 2015

  • paying invoices for campaign spending
  • reporting after the election
  • government review of third party campaigning
  • May 2016 polls
  • webcasts

Update for non-party campaigners No.14 – 11 March 2015

  • the independent review
  • quarterly pre-poll reporting
  • weekly pre-poll reporting

Update for non-party campaigners No.13 – 22 January 2015

  • Pre poll reports
  • Record keeping
  • How to get in touch

Update for non-party campaigners No.12 – 4 December 2014

  • Improvements to website navigation
  • Changes to guidance
  • FAQs
  • flowcharts

Update for non-party campaigners No.11 – 22 October 2014

  • changes to guidance
  • new key to guidance
  • FAQs
  • flowcharts
  • webinars

Update for non-party campaigners No.10 – 10 September 2014

  • guidance
  • campaign monitoring
  • PEF Online
  • forms
  • webinars

Update for non-party campaigners No.9 – 13 August 2014

  • our guidance and FAQs
  • webinars
  • flowcharts

Update for non-party campaigners No.8 – 14 July 2014

  • details of webinars to be held in July and August 2014

Update for non-party campaigners No.7 – 9 July 2014

  • our guidance

Update for non-party campaigners No.6 – 27 May 2014

  • joint campaigns

Update for non-party campaigners No.5 – 1 May 2014

  • managing spending
  • donations and permissibility checking

Update for non-party campaigners No.4 – 7 April 2014

  • information gathered through our roundtable events and online survey
  • launch of Frequently Asked Questions section on the website
  • our enforcement approach

Update for non-party campaigners No.3 – 17 March 2014

  • when you will need to register
  • who can register
  • when and how to register
  • a summary of the rules that apply to registered non-party campaigners

Update for non-party campaigners No. 2 - 26 February 2014

  • what activities will be regulated under the new rules
  • a summary of the current rules
  • where you can find more information
  • how to take part in the online survey

Update for non-party campaigners No. 1 - 3 February 2014

  • a summary of our role
  • a summary of the changes to the rules
  • where you can find more information 


Regulated non-party campaigning

This part covers:

  • an introduction to regulated campaign activity
  • the purpose and public tests
  • what counts as regulated campaign activity
  • applying the purpose test to different types of campaigns

Overview of regulated non-party campaigning (PDF)

Situations & procedures

Managing campaign spending

This part covers:

  • notional spending
  • working with a party or candidate
  • working with other non-party campaigners
  • managing regulated campaign spending
  • splitting spending and the guiding principle
  • allocating spending to different parts of the UK
  • allocating spending to different constituencies
  • recording regulated campaign spending
  • reporting after the election

You may also find useful:

Paying campaign spending (PDF)

Managing non-party campaign spending (PDF)

Expert paper: Splitting spending (PDF)

Party or campaigner