FAQs on election spending
The regulated period for the European Parliamentary elections began on 23 January 2019, even though the government gave notice of the date of the poll in April.
The test for regulated party spending is very broad. It includes almost any activity which promotes the party that takes place during the regulated period.
This includes spending promoting the party’s support for particular policies, including the party’s policies on Brexit.
Any such spending is likely to be regulated even before the government gave notice of the European Parliamentary elections going ahead. This is because the spending for political parties does not have to have been intended to have an effect in a particular imminent election in order for the test to be met.
You should carefully consider the application of the test to your spending since 23 January 2019.
Material that promotes the party’s policy on an issue and includes the party’s name is very likely to meet the test and count as party spending.
If you have any particular items of spending of this kind that you think may not meet the test, please email us to get advice.
The inclusion of this spending only applies to newsletters at the European Parliamentary elections in Great Britain. The usual exemption for this kind of material continues to apply at European parliamentary elections in Northern Ireland.
The inclusion is limited to newsletters or publications to give electors information about MEPs or prospective MEPs. You are only required to include newsletters that meet this criteria.
The inclusion does not extend to newsletters in advance of local elections or by-elections that are covered by the exemption.
Some social media companies have signed up to an agreement with the European Union to increase transparency for voters at the European Parliamentary elections.
This means that when you place adverts on their platforms, the ads will have a label to say who placed it, and advertisers will have to complete a ‘verification’ process to prove their identity and that they are in the UK.
Social media companies will also publish online libraries of election adverts with information about how much the adverts cost and who paid for them.
If you want to place paid-for adverts or sponsored/promoted content on these services, you may need to complete the ‘verification’ process.
For more information about these processes you should contact the relevant company.
The three companies currently doing this are:
Below is a link to their ad archives: