The Electoral Commission

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

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Roles and responsibilities

Our role in elections and referendums

We work to support well-run elections and referendums in the UK, offering support and guidance to those involved. We also work to ensure voters know everything they need to know about the process of casting their vote.

Find out more about our role in elections and referendums

Our role as regulator of political party finances

We work to make sure people understand the rules around political party finance.  Alongside this work, we also take action when the rules are broken and publish information on political finance.

Find out more about our role as regulator of political finances

Registering political parties

We maintain and publish the registers of political parties in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. A political party has to be registered with us in order to field candidates at an election.

Find out more about our role in registering political parties


We do a wide range of research around elections and referendums, electoral registration and party and election finance. This ensures that our views and recommendations are evidence-based.

Find out more about our research

Public awareness

We run campaigns before elections and referendums to make sure people are aware of when and how to register to vote and anything else they need to know.

Policy work

We carry out policy work across a range of areas. We want to ensure that the rules around all aspects of elections are as clear and simple as possible and that the interests of voters are always put first.

Read our policy and research reports

Laws that govern our work

If you would like to view the laws that govern our work in detail, the full text of each piece of legislation below is available on the website.

Regulations we have made

Roles and responsibilities