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

Request for a party emblem

Political parties can register up to three emblems.1  

A candidate of a registered party can choose to have a registered emblem of the party they are representing displayed on the ballot paper. 

The candidate, not the election agent or the Nominating Officer, must make the request in writing to you not later than the deadline for delivery of nominations.2  

To be able to use an emblem a candidate must have used a party name or description other than Independent, or Annibynnol in Wales.3  

In some instances a candidate may also choose to use an emblem of their party without choosing to use an authorised description. They would need to provide the certificate of authorisation as well as the emblem request form but may choose not to include an authorised description on the nomination paper. 

If the party has more than one registered emblem, the candidate should specify which one they want to use.4 If the candidate does not specify one, or the registered party changes an emblem after the nomination papers have been submitted but before the close of nominations, you should try to contact the candidate and ask them to select one. You should also tell them that if they do not select a particular emblem before the close of nominations, you will not be able to print an emblem against their name on the ballot paper. 

The candidate may provide a high-resolution copy of the emblem for use in the printing of ballot papers, or may request that you download the emblem from our website. You must ensure that whatever copy is used is the same as the registered emblem. 

The maximum size of an emblem on the ballot paper is set by the directions for printing. When adding a party emblem to a ballot paper, the shape of the emblem should not be altered. For example, do not stretch emblems into square shapes if they are not registered as square images on our website, as this would have the effect of altering their appearance.

Candidates standing on behalf of more than one party who use a joint description may choose to use a registered emblem of one of the parties that have authorised the use of the description. There is no provision for joint emblems to be registered with the Commission.

A zip file of emblem images is available and can be used by your printer to prepare ballot papers. However, it is the information on our register of political parties that should be used for confirming which emblem to print.

Last updated: 19 December 2023