Imprints on printed material: Candidates at UK Parliamentary elections and elections in England, Wales and Northern Ireland


Under the Representation of the People Act 1983 and associated legislation, there are rules about putting imprints on printed election material.

Candidate election material is any material that can be reasonably regarded as intended to promote or procure the election of a candidate at an election.

Whenever printed election material is produced, it must contain certain details (which we refer to as an ‘imprint’) to show who is responsible for the material. This helps to ensure there is transparency about who is campaigning. 

We provide advice and guidance on these rules but we do not enforce them. Decisions on the investigation and prosecution of imprint offences are a matter for the police and the prosecution services, and any allegations of non-compliance should be made to the police. 

The rules on imprints apply to all candidates. Different imprint rules apply for candidates in Scottish Parliamentary elections and council elections in Scotland. Please see Candidate imprints – Scottish Parliamentary elections and council elections in Scotland for more details.

This factsheet explains the rules you must follow if you are a candidate in any other election.

Under the Elections Act 2022, imprints are also required on certain digital material. This factsheet does not cover that part of the law. For the imprint requirements on digital material, please see our statutory guidance on digital imprints.