Lobbying Act and the 2017 Assembly Elections

18 Jan 2017 Jenna Maghie    Last updated: 18 Jan 2017

Now we have a date for the 2017 Assembly Election, voluntary and community organisations should once again make themselves familiar with the provisions of the Lobbying Act and how they may affect your work in the run up to the elections. 

We had previously posted these 10 key things you should know about the Lobbying Act.

However, given the timescales involved in this election there are a number of differences and key things you should note, including:

The usual regulated period for an Assembly election is four months, however due to the special circumstances of this election the regulated period began on the 16 January 2017. It will carry on until polling day, 2 March 2017. Any spending on regulated activity during the regulated period should be tracked.

What counts as regulated campaign activity has not changed. As usual, for any activity to be ‘regulated’ it must pass both the purpose and public test.

  • The purpose test is defined by the Electoral Commission as if activity “can reasonably be regarded as intended to influence voters to vote for or against political parties or categories of candidates, including political parties or categories of candidates who support or do not support particular policies or issues”
  • The people test relates to whether or not activities are “aimed at, seen or heard by, or involve the public”

Spending limits on regulated campaign activity if you do not register are set at £10,000. For those who do register limits are set at £15,300.

The Electoral Commission has released new guidance for non-party campaigners for the 2017 Assembly Election. Read it here.

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