There is no evidence of large-scale electoral fraud relating to the 2018 local elections.

Of the 266 cases that were investigated by the police, one led to a conviction and two suspects were given police cautions.

Outcomes of cases where the suspect was either convicted or accepted a police caution

A conviction for a nomination offence

At the local elections in 2018, a Peterborough Green Party candidate pleaded guilty to forging all signatures on his nomination form so that he could stand in the election.

When police questioned him, he admitted it and withdrew his papers before the close of nominations. He didn’t appear on the ballot paper.

He was sentenced to two months in prison, suspended for 12 months.

He was also given 100 hours of community service, and a £200 fine.

A caution for false registration and voting (by post) more than once

At the local elections in 2018, a Labour Party candidate seeking re-election registered to vote at two different addresses in Rochdale.

He applied to vote by post at both addresses and voted twice in the Rochdale council elections.

It is an offence to vote more than once in the same local election area.

The candidate was interviewed by police and admitted he had voted twice. He accepted a caution from police.

A caution for using someone else’s postal vote by mistake

West Yorkshire police received a report that a postal vote cast in the 2018 local elections appeared to have been completed and returned by someone who had died.

Police interviewed the deceased elector’s widow. She had been his sole carer and often did his paperwork. It appeared to be a genuine mistake in the midst of grief.

The widow accepted a conditional caution and wrote a full letter of apology to the Returning Officer.

An unsuccessful election petition

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

An unsuccessful candidate at the local elections claimed that the successful candidate had accused him of being a liar and had circulated election material without an ‘imprint’ - details about the printer, promotor, or publisher on election material.

There wasn’t enough evidence to prove the imprint allegation, or that the election material had been produced by the candidate.

False statements about a candidate must relate to the personal character of the candidate and not their political character.

This allegation was based on a difference of opinion and not related to the candidate’s personal character or conduct.

Outcomes of all reported cases

Types of electoral fraud allegations

More than half of all reported cases were about campaigning offences. Most of these were allegations about:

  • someone making false statements about the personal character or conduct of a candidate
  • not including details about the printer, promotor, or publisher on election material - an ‘imprint’

This pie chart shows the number of cases, and types of offences that were investigated in 2018.

Types of electoral fraud allegations since 2010

Allegations data by police force

Use this table to search for data from specific police forces, by category of offence or outcome.

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Last updated: 23 July 2019
Next review: 22 July 2020