Guidance to help non-party campaigners comply with the campaigning rules for the National Assembly for Wales elections has been published by the Electoral Commission.
All individuals and groups that intend to spend more than £10,000 campaigning in the regulated period before the National Assembly for Wales election – which runs from 5 January 2016 to 5 May 2016 – will need to register with the Commission and will be required to comply with rules on campaign spending, donations and loans which will be regulated by the Commission.
Campaigners registered with the Electoral Commission will be able to spend up to £30,000 on campaigning at the National Assembly for Wales elections, and those that register will be required to report all campaign spending to the Commission after the election.
Rhydian Thomas, Head of the Electoral Commission’s Wales Office said:
“Non-party campaigners are vital to a healthy democracy and have an important role to play in any election debate. However, where there is significant spending on campaigning, there are rules that must be followed to ensure that there’s transparency for voters about how campaigns are funded and what they spend their money on.
The rules have changed since the last National Assembly for Wales elections, so it is important that potential campaigners read our guidance to help ensure they understand and follow them.”
Spending by non-party campaigners has been regulated in the run up to previous National Assembly for Wales elections. However, recent changes to the rules brought in by the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014, mean that a wider range of spending on campaigning activities that can be seen as intending to influence voters at an election is now regulated.
The guidance published today by the Electoral Commission provides non-party campaigners with comprehensive information on the rules and how they apply at the National Assembly for Wales elections, and sets out what they need to do to ensure they can comply with the rules.
The Commission has also published guidance today for political parties campaigning at the National Assembly for Wales elections, and further guidance for candidates and agents at these elections will also be published once the legislation is finalised.
To see the Electoral Commission’s guidance for non- party campaigners at the National Assembly for Wales elections see: http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/193060/National-Assembly-for-Wales-and-PCC-elections-May-2016-non-party-campaigners.pdf
To see the Commission’s full range of guidance to non-party campaigners at all elections see: http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/party-or-campaigner/non-party-campaigners