Summary

The UK has low levels of proven electoral fraud. There is no evidence of large-scale electoral fraud in 2022. Most cases (93%) resulted in the police taking no further action or were locally resolved through words of advice to those involved. 

Personation

A total of 13 cases of alleged personation fraud were recorded by police forces in 2022. 

The offence of personation involves someone pretending to be someone else so they can use that person’s vote. This can happen at a polling station, with a postal vote, or a proxy vote (where a voter has appointed someone else to cast their vote for them).

Just over half of those cases (7) involved allegations of personation in polling stations. All those cases resulted in the police taking no further action because there was no evidence or insufficient evidence.

This table shows the number of personation allegations and their outcomes.

Personation type Number of allegations Outcome type and number
Polling station 7 No further action: 7
Postal 3

No further action: 2

Under investigation: 1

Proxy 3

No further action: 2

Locally resolved: 1

 

Election Petitions

An election petition is a legal challenge to the result of an election.

There was one petition following elections held in 2022.

Aston Ward of Birmingham City Council

The petition claimed that the two successful Liberal Democrat candidates at the May 2022 election in the ward had made false allegations that one of the Labour candidates had bribed voters with packets of dates. The petition asked the court to void the outcome of the election. However, the Liberal Democrat candidates submitted doorbell video footage as evidence. This showed the Labour candidate and his supporters giving voters packets of dates with Labour stickers on them. Given this evidence, the Labour candidate applied to the court to withdraw the petition which the court granted.