Website visitors

When someone visits this website we collect standard internet log information which shows how visitors are using the site. We do this to monitor the number of visitors to the various parts of the site, and to analyse the behaviour of our visitors in order to help us to provide you with a better user experience.

We collect this information in a way that does not identify anyone. We do not make any attempt to find out the identities of those visiting any of our websites. We will not associate any data gathered from this site with any personally identifying information from any source. If we do want to collect personally identifiable information through our website, we will be up front about this and get your consent. We will make it clear when we collect personal information and will explain what we intend to do with it.

Use of cookies

Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer by websites that you visit. They are widely used in order to make websites work, or work more efficiently, as well as to provide information to the owners of the site. Cookies will often record information such as a user’s preferences for options on a site, or on a transactional site a cookie will be used to identify a logged-in user and preserve the integrity of the data they are entering. Cookies are also used to identify website visitors for the purposes of analysing site usage.

Some cookies are placed on your computer by the website you are visiting but others are placed by third parties, often to track website usage. When you visit an Electoral Commission website, a small number of third party cookies may be placed on your computer to help analyse usage or to monitor the success of our campaigns. We provide information about these below and show you how to get further information about them.

The tables below explain the cookies we use and why:

This website

NameSet byDurationDescription
System_SessionWebsiteDeleted when user leaves websiteIdentifies user for the duration of visit to the website
_utmaGoogle AnalyticsNever expiresTracks number of visits, the time of first visit, the previous visit and the current visit
_utmbGoogle AnalyticsDeleted when user leaves website (or after 30 minutes of inactivity)Tracks when a visit starts. With _utmc determines length of visit
_utmcGoogle AnalyticsDeleted when user leaves website (or after 30 minutes of inactivity)Tracks when a visit ends
_utmzGoogle Analytics6 monthsTracks where a user came from (e.g. search engine, another site)

PEF online

If you visit the PEF Online section, additional cookies to those set out above will be placed:

NameSet byDurationDescription
ASP.NET_SessionIdWebsiteDeleted when user leaves site or after 20 minutes of inactivityIdentifies user for duration of visit to website
PEFLanguageWebsite1 yearIdentifies whether user prefers English or Welsh language version of site

If you visit the political finance search site, no additional cookies to those set out above are used. This site only uses the Google Analytics cookies.

Most web browsers allow some control of most cookies through the browser settings. To find out more about cookies, including how to see what cookies have been set and how to manage and delete them, visit

To opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites visit

If you continue to access the Commission’s websites without changing these settings, we will consider that you consent to the use of cookies as set out above. Please be aware that restricting cookies may impact on the functionality of our websites.

How to contact us

Queries about how we collect and handle personal information may be submitted to us by mail or email. Please send requests to:

Jo Crofton-Diggins

Data Protection Officer

The Electoral Commission

General information

This site has security measures in place to protect against the loss, misuse and alteration of material under our control.

However, we accept no responsibility for alteration, manipulation or interpretation of its data once placed on the World Wide Web.

Our information on the World Wide Web is subject to change without notice.

Where we provide links to sites, we do not by doing so endorse any information or opinions appearing in them.

We accept no liability over the availability of linked pages. This website is governed by UK law.

Last updated: 20 June 2019
Next review: 19 June 2020