Law Commissions' review of electoral law
On this page you can find out about the Law Commissions' project to create a more modern, simple and accessible law for elections.
You can also read about the work we are doing to support this project.
The three UK Law Commissions have published their recommendations for electoral law reform.
This follows a consultation during which there was extensive support for the Law Commissions’ proposals.
We very much welcome the reforms outlined by the Law Commissions and believe that they will address many of the difficulties with the current law. We hope that the UK and Scottish Governments will quickly approve the continuation of the Law Commissions’ project, so that new electoral law can be drafted in time for the 2020 and 2021 UK and devolved elections.
The Law Commissions' review
The Law Commissions of England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are currently reviewing electoral law.
The aims of the project are to:
- consolidate the many existing sources of electoral law, and
- modernise and simplify the law, making it fit for elections in the 21st century
We encourage everyone participating in elections to engage in this opportunity to improve the UK's electoral law.
More information can be found on the Law Commissions' websites:
We strongly support the Law Commissions' review and are working to inform the review. It is an opportunity to make electoral law more accessible and bring it up to date.
Our consultation responses
Our responses to the Law Commissions' consultations are below:
- Response to consultation on 11th programme of law reform (2010) (PDF)
- Response to scoping consultation (2012) (PDF)
- First response to substantive consultation (2015) (PDF)
- Second response to substantive consultation (2015) (PDF)
Our research reports
We have published reports on aspects of electoral law in the UK to inform thinking in connection with the Law Commissions' project.
- Electoral legislation, principles and practice: a comparative analysis (PDF)
- Challenging elections in the UK ('election petitions') (PDF)
- Reflections on a new structure for the UK's electoral law (by Professor Watt, University of Buckingham) (PDF)
- The position of election forms and notices in the hierarchy of electoral laws (PDF)
- The hidden costs of electoral law (PDF)
- Issues with the legislation governing the 2014 elections (PDF)
- Issues with the legislation governing the 2015 elections (PDF)
We have published a note setting out the background to the Law Commissions' review and our work in more detail: