Complain about us
You can complain about us if you think we:
- have not been impartial in our work
- did not deal with something, or did not deal with something quickly enough
- did not follow the correct procedures
- have shown unfairness, discrimination or discourtesy
- made mistakes when carrying out our work
- did not meet our standards of service
We will not be able to help if your complaint is about:
- political advertising and campaign material, or the behaviour of candidates
- electoral registration, voting or polling station issues
- our regulation or election finance decisions
If you’re not sure if we can help with your complaint, you can contact us. We’ll be able to tell you if we can help, or if you should make your complaint to someone else.
Why we can't help with some complaints
Political advertising and campaign material, and the behaviour of candidates
We regulate campaign spending, but do not have the powers to deal with:
- the content of political advertising
- the content of campaign materials
- candidate behaviour either
If you have a complaint about advertising, material or behaviour, you need to contact the party or candidate who are responsible for it.
If you think the content of the advertising or material is committing a criminal offence, you need to contact the police. Every police force has a dedicated Single Point of Contact officer (SPOC) for these complaints.
Electoral registration, voting or polling station issues
You need to contact your local registration office if you have a complaint about electoral registration, voting or polling station issues.
If you’re in Northern Ireland, you need to contact the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland.
You can contact us for advice about your complaint.
Our regulation decisions
You can make a complaint if it’s about our administrative process rather than about a decision. You will need to explain your complaint, and not base it on disagreement with our decision.
We don’t consider disagreements with our regulatory decisions to be a complaint, unless it’s about the way we reached a decision.
Some of our regulatory decisions, such as imposing fines, give the person we fine the right to appeal to the courts. In other cases you will need to follow a judicial review process through the courts.
If we decide not to open an investigation in response to an allegation you have made, but you think we should have done, you can ask for a review of that decision.
Make a complaint
To make a complaint, you can:
- contact us online
- write to us at: Complaints, The Electoral Commission, 3 Bunhill Row, London, EC1Y 8YZ
- call us on 020 7271 0604 if you’re unable to make your complaint in writing
This includes complaints about how we have adhered to, or failed to adhere to, the Welsh language standards.
If you think we should investigate your complaint in confidence, you need to make this clear when you submit your complaint.
We will contact you about your complaint within 20 working days. We hope to investigate and resolve your complaint within this time, but will let you know if we can’t do this for any reason.
If we find that your complaint is about something we can’t help with, we will contact you and tell you why.
How we deal with complaints
When we deal with a complaint, we do our best to:
- get it right
- be customer-focused
- be open and accountable
- act fairly and proportionately
- seek continuous improvement
Ask for a review or complain to the ombudsman
If you’re not happy with our response to your complaint, you can ask for our Chief Executive to review it.
Our Chief Executive will consider your complaint and our response to it. We will then contact you with any further information or decisions.
If you dissatisfied with the outcome of the review, the next stage is complaining to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. For complaints relating to our work in Scottish local government elections, this will be Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.
You will need to contact your MP if you want to progress your complaint to this stage. The Parliamentary Ombudsman will normally only consider complaints that MPs refer to them.
- The Electoral Commission
- UK wide