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Election Expenditure Limits

Volume 621: debated on Tuesday 30 January 2001

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked Her Majesty's Government:What limits will be in place on election expenditure by political parties and third parties for the next General Election. [HL535]

Paragraph 3 of Schedule 9 to the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 imposes limits on campaign expenditure by registered political parties in the 365 days prior to the date of a parliamentary general election. The maximum amount a party may spend is determined by the number of constituencies contested. A party receives an allowance of £30,000 for each constituency contested, subject to a minimum threshold. A party contesting every constituency in the United Kingdom would therefore be subject to a limit on campaign expenditure of £19.77 million during the normal 365-day period.We have today made a commencement order bringing Schedule 9 into force on 16 February 2001. As provided for in Section 163(6) of the Act, the order includes transitional provisions specifying a lower limit on campaign expenditure that will apply if the next general election is held less than 365 days after 16 February. In such circumstances, the allowance per constituency contested will be as follows:

Period before date of electionRevised allowance per constituency contestedLimit on party contesting all 659 seats
££ million
0–3 months22,50014,8275
3–4 months24,00015,816
4–5 months25,50016,8045
5–6 months27,00017,793
6–9 months28,50018,7815
9–12 months30,00019,77
Paragraph 3 of Schedule 10 to the Act imposes separate limits on controlled expenditure by recognised third parties in each of' England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Again, these limits would normally apply in the period of 365 days before the date of a parliamentary general election. If the next election is held less than 365 days after 16 February, however, the following revised limits will apply:
Limit on controlled expenditure in:
Period before date of electionEnglandScotlandWalesNorthern IrelandTotal
0–3 months595,12581,00045,00020,250741,375
3–4 months634,80086,40048,00021,60079,800
4–5 months674,47591,80051,00022,950840,225
5–6 months714,15097,20054,00024,300889,650
6–9 months753,825102,60057,00025,650939,075
9–12 months793,500108,00060,00027,000988,500
The limits on national campaign expenditure by political parties and third parties complement rather than replace the long-standing local limits on candidates' and third party expenses provided for in the Representation of the People Act 1983.