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The independent body which oversees elections and regulates political finance in the UK

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Guidance for political parties

We regulate the finances of political parties and maintain the registers of political parties in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Political parties must follow certain rules set out in law.

Our guidance is here to help parties comply with the rules. You do not have to follow this guidance, but if you do, you will normally be doing enough to comply with the law.

Read our guidance for the UK parliamentary general election 2017

Our guidance covers:

Looking for a form?

You can submit all forms online – use PEF Online.

Alternatively you can find a full list of our forms for political parties.

Latest updates

  • Changes to the confidentiality rules on donations and loans to Northern Ireland political parties from 1 July 2017

    03-07-2017

    The UK Government announced on 3 July that it will bring forward legislation to allow the Electoral Commission to publish details of some donations and loans made to Northern Ireland parties. It is currently unlawful for the Electoral Commission to disclose any information reported to us about donations and loans made to Northern Ireland parties, under the Political Parties Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA).

    Once this legislation is passed, details of donations received and loans entered into by parties from 1 July 2017 and reported to the Electoral Commission will be published on our website. We expect the first publication of this information to be autumn 2017.

    We will publish a factsheet after the draft legislation is published and publish amended guidance once the law has changed. You should check our website regularly to make sure you are aware of when the new rules come into force and for further updates.

    For further advice and information please contact us at pef@electoralcommission.org.uk.

Key dates for 2017

As part of regulating party finance and maintaining transparency, parties must submit financial reports on donations, loans and expenditure by certain dates. Parties are also under a duty to confirm their details and renew their registration every year. Below you can find the deadline dates for the main reporting requirements for political parties in 2016.

30 January 2017 Deadline for submitting Quarter 4 (1 October 2016–31 December 2016) donations and loans reports
2 March 2017 Polling day Northern Ireland Assembly
3 April 2017 Northern Ireland Assembly - Deadline for receiving all invoices for campaign expenses
30 April 2017 Deadline for submitting Quarter 1 (1 January 2017-31 March 2017) donations and loans reports
Deadline for statement of accounts (income and expenditure below £250k) for year end 31 December 2016
2 May 2017 Northern Ireland Assembly - Deadline for paying all invoices for campaign expenses
4 May 2017 Polling day
2 June 2017 Northern Ireland Assembly- Deadline for submitting campaign expenditure report (expenditure £250k or below)
7 July 2017 Deadline for statement of accounts (income or expenditure over £250k) for year end 31 December 2016
30 July 2017 Deadline for submitting Quarter 2 (1 April 2017-30 June 2017) donations and loans report
2 September 2017 Northern Ireland Assembly - Deadline for submitting campaign expenditure report (expenditure over £250k)
30 October 2017 Deadline for submitting Quarter 3 (1 July 2017-30 September 2017) donations and loans report
30 January 2018 Deadline for submitting Quarter 4 (1 October 2017-31 December 2017) donations and loans report

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