Non-party campaigners: UK Parliamentary general elections

Key terms we use in this guidance


Under the Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA), a donation is money, goods or services given to a registered non-party campaigner without charge or on non-commercial terms for the purpose of meeting spending on regulated campaign activities, with a value of over £500.1

Some examples of donations include: 

  • a gift of money or property 
  • sponsorship of an event or publication 
  • subscription or affiliation payments 
  • free or specially discounted use of an office

See What is a donation? for more information.

Constituency spending limit

During the regulated period for a UK Parliamentary general election (UKPGE), a non-party campaigner cannot spend more than a set limit (£17,533) on regulated campaign activity in a particular parliamentary constituency.2  

This limit applies to all non-party campaigners, both before submitting a notification and while registered.

See Spending limits for more information.

Leave to pay

You must receive and pay invoices for regulated campaign spending within certain deadlines. If invoices remain unpaid after the deadline, you, or the supplier, must obtain a court order or judgement enabling you to pay it.3  This authorisation is known as leave to pay.

See Time limits for receiving and paying invoices for more information.

Market value

The price that might reasonably be expected to be paid for an item, goods or service if the item was on sale in the open market.4

Notification threshold 

Non-party campaigners intending to spend more than £10,000 on regulated campaign activity must submit a notification to the Commission.5  After submitting the notification, they will appear on the register of notifications.


We use the term permissible to refer to donations that registered non-party campaigners are allowed to accept under PPERA.

Pre-poll reporting

Registered non-party campaigners that campaign in the lead up to a UKPGE, unless exempt, must report certain donations to the Commission before polling day.

This includes donations reports on a quarterly basis during the pre-dissolution period (quarterly pre-poll reporting) and on a weekly basis between the dissolution of Parliament and polling day (weekly pre-poll reporting).

Relevant participators/details

Under the law, some organisations must provide the names of the people that make up their governing bodies or committees when they submit a notification to the Commission. In law these are known as the organisation’s ‘relevant participators’ or ‘relevant details’.6

See Relevant participators and relevant details for more information.

Reporting thresholds

The reporting thresholds are:

  • £20,000 in England
  • £10,000 in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland

If a registered non-party campaigner spends over the reporting threshold in any part of the UK, they must report their spending and donations to us after the election.7

See Reporting thresholds for more information.

Responsible person

The individual responsible for ensuring the registered non-party campaigner follows the laws on spending, donations and reporting set out in PPERA.8

See Responsible person for more information.

Targeted spending

Spending on regulated campaign activity that can reasonably be regarded as intended to influence voters to vote for one registered political party or any of its candidates.9

See Targeted spending for more information.

Last updated: 20 December 2023