Elections: Party Descriptions

House of Lords written question – answered at on 26 June 2007.

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Photo of Lord Greaves Lord Greaves Spokesperson in the Lords, Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the registered description of a political party as the National Liberal Party, the Third Way complies with the relevant legislation; and whether they have assessed the reasonableness of such a description of candidates on ballot papers in view of the potential for confusion with other parties.

Photo of Baroness Ashton of Upholland Baroness Ashton of Upholland Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Ministry of Justice, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The rules governing the use of descriptions by political parties on ballot papers are set out in the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (as amended by Section 49 of the Electoral Administration Act 2006). Section 28 states that political parties must register with the Electoral Commission if they wish to participate in elections. Section 28A enables the party to register up to 12 descriptions of six words or fewer to be used on nomination papers or ballot papers. The commission must register a description unless it is more than six words in length or in its opinion falls into one of several categories; for example, is the same or confusingly similar to another party's registered description, is offensive, or would be misleading or confusing to the voter if it appeared on the ballot paper.

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