Intro to page

On this page you will find guidance and information for individuals and organisations that campaign in the run up to elections but do not stand as political parties or candidates.

We call these individuals and organisations non-party campaigners. In electoral law they are called third parties.

There are rules non-party campaigners must follow on campaign spending, donations and reporting. We regulate those rules.

In the run-up to certain elections, there is a set time when the rules on spending and donations apply. We call this time the 'regulated period'. The rules will differ depending on which election is being held.

In this section

Introduction

Non-party campaigners: Where to start

This guidance will help you to determine if your campaign activity is regulated:

Non-party campaigners: Where to start

Case studies from recent elections

Guidance and information for individuals and organisations that campaign in the run up to elections but do not stand as political parties or candidates

    Authorisations to incur targeted spending in support of a particular political party UKPGE 2019

    Under section 94G of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA), a registered party may authorise a registered non-party campaigner to incur targeted spending above the usual targeted spending limit.

    The registered non-party campaigners in the table below have been given authorisation to incur targeted spending in line with section 94G of PPERA. The table lists the party that has given the authorisation, and the specified expenditure cap in each part of the UK.

    This table should be read in conjunction with the Commission’s register of third party notifications. Links to the registered non-party campaigners and the relevant political parties are linked in the table.

    Registered third partyPart of the United Kingdom to which the authorisation relates & Authorised expenditure capRegistered party that has authorised targeted spending by the third partyAuthorised by role within the partyDate authorisation was sent to the Commission
    Communication Workers Union•    England         (£250,000)
    •    Scotland         (£40,000)
    •    Wales             (£30,000)
    Labour PartyAndrew Whyte (deputy treasurer)5 November 2019
     
    Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW)•    England         (£250,000)
    •    Scotland         (£40,000)
    •    Wales             (£30,000)
    Labour PartyAndrew Whyte (deputy treasurer)5 November 2019
     
    UNISON: The Public Service Union•    England         (£250,000)
    •    Scotland         (£40,000)
    •    Wales             (£30,000)
    Labour partyAndrew Whyte (deputy treasurer)5 November 2019
    Unite the Union

    •    England  (no cap)
    •    Scotland (no cap)
    •    Wales     (no cap)

    Labour PartyAndrew Whyte (deputy treasurer)5 November 2019
    GMB•    England         (£250,000)
    •    Scotland         (£40,000)
    •    Wales             (£30,000)
    Labour PartyAndrew Whyte (deputy treasurer)7 November 2019
     Momentum Campaign (Services) Ltd •    England  (no cap)
    •    Scotland  (no cap)
    •    Wales      (no cap)
    Labour PartyAndrew Whyte (deputy treasurer)7 November 2019


    Changes to the law

    The UK government has changed the law on the types of entities that can register with us as a non-party campaigner. From the date of the UK’s departure from the EU, the following organisations can no longer register:

    • companies incorporated in another EU member state
    • individuals and organisations based in Gibraltar

    Unregistered individuals and organisations can only spend up to £20,000 in England, and £10,000 in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, on regulated campaign activity during a regulated period.

    It remains possible for the UK government to defer, revoke or change these new laws. Anyone proposing to carry out regulated campaign activity in the UK must make sure that they know the up to date position before spending more than the legal limit. We will update our website as soon as we know more.

    2019 European Parliamentary election – notification of lead campaigner arrangements between non-party campaigners

    On 15 May 2019 the Commission received a notification of lead campaigner arrangements including the following details:

    Lead campaigner: Open Britain Ltd

    Minor campaigner: European Movement of the United Kingdom Ltd

    Minor campaigner: Our Future Our Choice

    Minor campaigner: For our Future's Sake

    Minor campaigner: Wales for Europe