Hustings intro

This guidance is for anyone organising a hustings. 


A hustings is a meeting where election candidates or parties debate policies and answer questions from the audience. Hustings provide voters with an opportunity to hear the views of candidates or parties.

When all candidates or parties standing are invited, a hustings does not promote any particular candidate or party because they all have the opportunity to speak and be questioned.

This guidance explains when spending on a hustings may be regulated and when it is not.

Some hustings cannot be reasonably regarded as intended to promote any parties or candidates over any others. We call this a ‘non-selective hustings’. Spending on a non-selective hustings is not regulated and does not need to be reported by anyone.

The guidance also explains situations in which a hustings can be reasonably regarded as intended to promote the candidates or parties who attend. We call this a ‘selective hustings’. In this case either the hustings organiser or the candidates or parties may need to account for the spending.

You can choose whether your hustings is selective or non-selective. 

Updates to our guidance

Date of updateDescription of change
November 2023We have updated Charities running a hustings to reflect the Elections Act 2022 changes.