FAQs for elections postponed from May 2020 to May 2021

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We have produced some FAQs. If you have any further questions, please contact our advice service.

FAQs

No. You will not be required to submit a return of election expenses for the elections which did not take place this year.

Any spending on items, goods or services you use later during a regulated period for a future election will be reportable and count towards your spending limit for that election in accordance with the usual rules. 

We will publish guidance later this year for the elections due to take place in May 2021. 

You should ensure that you have a record of any spending which promoted your candidacy for the postponed elections. This is because you may need to report it in your spending return should you make use of it during the regulated period for a future election. 

You should also ensure you keep any invoices or receipts for purchases made of over £20 in case you need to submit these with your return in future.  

The regulated period for candidates begins the day after someone officially becomes a candidate. This date can be different for different elections. Generally, the earliest date someone can become a candidate is the final day of publication of notice of election. 

The Commission will publish a timetable and guidance ahead of the polls but the final dates for publication of notice of an election taking place in May 2021 are likely to be around late March 2021. 

You will not be required to report any donations you received towards your election campaign in your return of election expenses. This is because there is no requirement to submit a return for the postponed elections.  

However, if you are an existing office holder and have received donations towards your re-election campaign, you may need to report donations to the Commission in your capacity as a regulated donee.  

The new legislation extends the deadline for when action must be taken for certain donations you may have received until 30 November 2020 in England and 31 January 2021 in Wales. Please refer to the table below for what you must report to the Commission, when you must check and take action in relation to those donations. 

If you have received any donations either before you officially became a candidate, or on or after 22 September 2020 in England or 4 December 2020 in Wales, the usual rules will apply and you should refer to our guidance for regulated donees on our website. You can also find the forms required to report on these pages too.

Donations received or accepted on or after the date you officially became a candidate and before 22 September 2020 in England or 4 December 2020 in Wales:

What you must report When must action be taken in relation to a donation  When you must report the donation to the Commission by 
Any impermissible donations you received over £500 towards your re-election campaign  For relevant office holders in England - you will have until 30 November 2020 to return the donation to the donor, or to send the donation to the Commission if returning the donation is not possible. For relevant office holders in England - you will have until 30 November 2020 to report the donation to the Commission.
For relevant office holders in Wales - you will have until 31 January 2021 to return the donation to the donor, or to send the donation to the Commission if returning the donation is not possible.

For relevant office holders in Wales - you will have until 31 January 2021 to report the donation to the Commission.

Any unidentifiable donations you received over £500 towards your re-election campaign For relevant office holders in England - if the donation is not permissible or you cannot determine whether it is, you also have until 30 November 2020 to either return it to the donor or send the donation to the Commission if returning the donation is not possible. For relevant office holders in England - you will have until 30 November 2020 to report the donation to the Commission.
For relevant office holders in Wales - if the donation is not permissible or you cannot determine whether it is, you also have until 31 January 2021 to either return it to the donor or send the donation to the Commission if returning the donation is not possible. For relevant office holders in Wales – you will have until 31 January 2021 to report the donation to the Commission
Any permissible donations you accepted of over £1,500 (singular or cumulative with smaller donations) towards your re-election campaign   For relevant office holders in England - you will have until 30 November 2020 to report the donation to the Commission 
For relevant office holders in Wales – you will have until 31 January 2021 to report the donation to the Commission

 

Some political parties hold donations on behalf of their candidates in fighting funds. Generally speaking, donations to political parties are handled under the party donation rules, unless the donations they receive are made specifically towards a candidate’s election campaign. In this case the party may be holding donations on your behalf.  

Any donations held on your behalf must be made available for your use on your election campaign. 

If you were standing for re-election in a postponed election, you may need to report any donations held in a fighting fund on your behalf to the Commission in your capacity as a regulated donee. Please refer to the answer to the question above for guidance on what you must do if this is the case.