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Committee examines consequences of failure to address electoral law concerns

12 July 2019

On Tuesday 16 July, the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC) will hear from the Electoral Reform Society and political scientists about the consequences of continued inaction on electoral law reform.


Many of the core elements of the law regulating election campaigns in parliamentary constituencies and local authority wards have not been updated since the nineteenth century, and recent prosecutions and investigations have demonstrated that even many experts are confused about how the law should be applied in practice to modern campaigns.

Purpose of the session

In 2016, the non-political Law Commission published a comprehensive set of recommendations for simplifying and updating electoral law, but the Government has not yet implemented them. As speculation about a possible general election continues, this session will seek to define how urgent the need for updating and consolidation of the law is, and what might take place if an election occurs without action having been taken.

The Committee is expected to focus on how urgent the consolidation and updating of electoral law is,  and the liability of individual candidates and agents for the spending of third parties. It will also consider the impact of the internet and digital campaigning tools, and the level of public confidence in the integrity of elections in the UK. 


Tuesday 16 July 2019, Thatcher Room, Portcullis House

Panel One – approx. 10.00am

  • Dr Toby James, Senior Lecturer in British and Comparative Politics, University of East Anglia
  • Dr Alistair Clark, Reader in Politics, Newcastle University

Panel Two – approx. 11.00am

  • Dr Jessica Garland, Director of Policy and Research, Electoral Reform Society
  • Dr Stuart Wilks-Heeg, Reader in Politics, University of Liverpool
  • Professor Maria Sobolewska, Professor of Political Science, University of Manchester

Further information

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