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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 and regulated donees from 1 July 2017

    23-11-2017

    The Transparency of Donations and Loans etc. (Northern Ireland Political Parties) Order 2018 (the Order) was laid before the UK Parliament on 23 November 2017.

    If it gets Parliamentary approval, it will change the rules on confidentiality of donations and loans to Northern Ireland political parties and regulated donees (members of political parties, members associations, and holders of elective office such as MPs, MEPs, MLAs and councillors).

    To help you understand the changes to the rules, we have published a factsheet providing more information which you can find here.

    We will publish amended guidance once the law has changed. You should check our website regularly for further updates. In the meantime, if you have any queries, please contact us at pef@electoralcommission.org.uk.

Key dates for 2018

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 2018.

30 January 2018 Deadline for submitting Quarter 4 (1 October 2017–31 December 2017) donations and loans reports
30 April 2018 Deadline for submitting Quarter 1 (1 January 2018–31 March 2018) donations and loans reports
Deadline for statement of accounts (income and expenditure below £250k) for year end 31 December 2017
3 May 2018 Polling day  - local elections in England
7 July 2018 Deadline for statement of accounts (income or expenditure over £250k) for year end 31 December 2017
30 July 2018 Deadline for submitting Quarter 2 (1 April 2018–30 June 2018) donations and loans report
30 October 2018 Deadline for submitting Quarter 3 (1 July 2018–30 September 2018) donations and loans report
30 January 2019 Deadline for submitting Quarter 4 (1 October 2018–31 December 2018) donations and loans report

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