The Electoral Commission

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

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Guidance on registering and maintaining a party

We regulate the finances of political parties and maintain the registers of political parties in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This page contains all the guidance and forms you need to maintain a party.

What type of party do you want to register?

We register two types of party: a registered political party and a minor party.

Registering a political party

A registered political party can apply to be registered on the Great Britain (GB) register, the Northern Ireland (NI) register, or both registers. Parties on the GB register also select which parts of GB they want to be registered in. Parties can choose a combination of England, Scotland and Wales.

Registering a minor party

A minor party is registered on the Great Britain register, but it can only contest parish council elections in England and community council elections in Wales. If you set up a minor party you will not have to submit as much information to us when applying to register, or be subject to the same degree of financial controls, compared to a registered political party.

Applying to register online?

You can use our PEF Online services to do everything from registering your party, submitting your statutory returns to telling us you want to de-register your party. You will need to register as an online user and you can do this by emailing, calling our new number 0333 103 1928 or our old number 020 7271 0616 or by following this link:
PEF Online - Getting Started


Registering a political party

This part covers:

  • An introduction to your responsibilities
  • Maintaining your party's details
  • Donations and loans responsibilities
  • Annual accounting responsibilities
  • Campaign spending responsibilities

Introduction to registering a political party (PDF)


Maintaining party details

This part covers:


  • A summary of your responsibilities
  • Keeping clear and accurate records
  • Preparing your statement of accounts


Overview of maintaining party details (PDF)

Party or campaigner