Guidance for (Acting) Returning Officers administering a UK Parliamentary election in Great Britain

Deposit to stand for election

In order to be validly nominated, a candidate or someone acting on the candidate’s behalf must also deposit the sum of £500 with you by the close of nominations.1  

You must accept deposits made using:

  • legal tender (cash in British pounds only) 
  • a UK banker’s draft 

You may refuse to accept a banker’s draft if you do not know whether the drawer carries on business as a banker in the United Kingdom.

You can also choose to accept funds by means of:

  • a building society cheque
  • a debit or credit card
  • electronic transfer of funds 

You should accept building society cheques if they carry out business in the United Kingdom. You should also accept banker’s payments, which are orders issued by a bank guaranteeing payment to the recipient. If you decide to accept any of these methods you should list them on the notice of election and make any requirements you have clear in the nomination pack.  

If the deposit is given to you by someone acting on behalf of the candidate, the person delivering the deposit must give you their name and address, unless they have already provided this information as part of their notification of appointment as an election agent.

You must return the deposit to the person who made it or, if they have died, their personal representative, in the following circumstances: 

  • the candidate withdraws before the deadline for withdrawals
  • you reject a candidate’s nomination and they are not shown as validly nominated on the statement of persons nominated
  • the candidate dies and proof of death has been given to you before you conclude the first count2  

If there is a fee attached to the form of payment, you can pass this on to the candidate. If so, you should make this clear on the notice of election and the nomination pack. 

Last updated: 19 December 2023