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

Candidate details

Candidate name

Candidates must appear on the ballot paper as listed as in the statement of persons nominated. Their names and relevant details must appear according to the directions for printing.1  

Candidate surnames must appear in capital letters, including the capitalisation of surnames beginning with MAC or MC and the names should follow strict alphabetisation e.g. MABBOT, MACLEAN, MATTHEWS, MCCORMICK, MORRISON.
Where a candidate has listed multiple names as their surname, either hyphenated or not, you should reproduce the whole name as provided. For example Dick Van Dyke would appear as VAN DYKE, Dick on the ballot paper and for alphabetisation purposes their surname would start with a V.
Similarly, Ann Smith-Jones would be SMITH-JONES, Ann on the ballot paper and would be listed as an S for alphabetisation purposes. 
In all cases, you should use the maximum possible sizes of font. To ensure consistency, the same font size should be used for each candidate on each equivalent line. 


If the candidate is standing for a registered political party and has requested the use of an emblem, you may be provided with a high-resolution copy of the emblem for use in the printing of ballot papers. Alternatively you may need to download the emblem from our website. You should ensure that whatever copy is used is in the same form as the registered emblem. 

The maximum size of an emblem on the ballot paper is two centimetres square.2 Do not alter or distort the shape of the emblem to fit the ballot paper. You should ensure that the emblem is in the same form as the registered emblem – 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.

Last updated: 19 December 2023