|Act of Parliament|
|Long title||An Act to make provision about the registration of political parties.|
|Citation||1998 c. 48|
|Territorial extent||United Kingdom|
|Royal assent||19 November 1998|
|Revised text of statute as amended|
The Registration of Political Parties Act 1998 (c. 48), is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which made legal provision to set up a register of political parties in the United Kingdom. Previously there had been no such register, and political parties were not specially recognised. There were 468 political parties registered in the UK on 8 October 2016.
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known internationally as the UK Parliament, British Parliament, or Westminster Parliament, and domestically simply as Parliament, is the supreme legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Crown dependencies and the British Overseas Territories. It alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all other political bodies in the UK and the overseas territories. Parliament is bicameral but has three parts, consisting of the Sovereign, the House of Lords, and the House of Commons. The two houses meet in the Palace of Westminster in the City of Westminster, one of the inner boroughs of the capital city, London.
The United Kingdom (UK), officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.
The legislation was introduced for a variety of reasons. It was planned to introduce some elements of list-based proportional representation in elections to the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly and also to introduce full list-based proportional representation in European Parliament elections in England, Scotland and Wales and for that, political parties needed to have a stronger legal recognition. Additionally, various pieces of legislation needed to refer to parties and so were using ad hoc definitions, which might have been incompatible.
Proportional representation (PR) characterizes electoral systems in which divisions in an electorate are reflected proportionately in the elected body --- each citizen voter being represented proportionately as by Evaluative Proportional Representation located in Section 5.5.5, or by each party being represented proportionately. If n% of the electorate support a particular political party as their favorite, then roughly n% of seats will be won by that party. The essence of such systems is that all votes contribute to the result - not just a plurality, or a bare majority. The most prevalent forms of proportional representation all require the use of multiple-member voting districts, as it is not possible to fill a single seat in a proportional manner. In fact, the implementations of PR that achieve the highest levels of proportionality tend to include districts with large numbers of seats.
The Scottish Parliament is the devolved unicameral legislature of Scotland. Located in the Holyrood area of the capital city, Edinburgh, it is frequently referred to by the metonym Holyrood.
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.
Another motivation was the use of the names Literal Democrats, Conversative Party, and Labor Party by people in elections in the 1990s; these names were criticised as potentially confusing with the names of the three major parties in the UK (the Liberal Democrats, the Conservative Party and the Labour Party, respectively). In the 1994 European Elections, Richard Huggett stood as a Literal Democrat candidate for the Devon and East Plymouth seat, taking more votes than the Conservative Party margin over the Liberal Democrats, leading to a legal challenge by the Liberal Democrat candidate.
The Liberal Democrats are a liberal and social-liberal political party in the United Kingdom.
The Conservative Party, officially the Conservative and Unionist Party, sometimes informally called the Tories, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom. The governing party since 2010, it is the largest in the House of Commons, with 313 Members of Parliament, and also has 249 members of the House of Lords, 4 members of the European Parliament, 31 Members of the Scottish Parliament, 11 members of the Welsh Assembly, eight members of the London Assembly and 8,916 local councillors.
The Labour Party is a centre-left political party in the United Kingdom that has been described as an alliance of social democrats, democratic socialists and trade unionists. The party's platform emphasises greater state intervention, social justice and strengthening workers' rights.
The legislation therefore introduced a register of political parties; and included provisions to prohibit "confusion" with already-existing parties, names that were "more than six words", or were "obscene or offensive".
As the act also permitted logos on ballot papers, the act also introduced a similar register for emblems, which had the result that the Communist Party of Britain is the only party in the United Kingdom permitted to use the hammer and sickle as its ballot-paper logo, although they usually use the hammer and dove variant. Parties may register more than one emblem, or none at all; most have two or three.
A logo is a graphic mark, emblem, or symbol used to aid and promote public identification and recognition. It may be of an abstract or figurative design or include the text of the name it represents as in a wordmark.
The Communist Party of Britain is a communist and Marxist–Leninist political party organised in Great Britain. The party emerged from a dispute between Eurocommunists and Marxist-Leninists in the Communist Party of Great Britain in 1988.
The hammer and sickle is a symbol meant to represent proletarian solidarity – a union between the peasantry and working-class, that was first adopted – as Russian: серп и мо́лот, romanized: serp i mólot: "sickle and hammer" – during the Russian Revolution. At the time of its creation, the hammer stood for the proletariat and the sickle for the peasantry—combined they stood for the worker-peasant alliance for socialism. The sickle symbol resembles a sickle used to harvest grain crops and the hammer is one that would be used to make a razor sharp edge on a sickle or scythe.
The act was amended by the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (2000 c. 41) to change the registration authority to the Electoral Commission from "the registrar or other officer who performs the duty of registration of companies in England and Wales under the Companies Act 1985"
The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 is an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom that sets out how political parties, elections and referendums are to be regulated in the United Kingdom. It formed an important part of the constitutional reform programme implemented by the 1997 Labour Government, building on the Registration of Political Parties Act 1998 which was passed two years earlier.
The Electoral Commission is the election commission of the United Kingdom. It is an independent body, and was set up in 2001 by the British Parliament. It regulates party and election finance and sets standards for how elections should be run.
The Companies Act 1985 (c.6) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, enacted in 1985, which enabled companies to be formed by registration, and set out the responsibilities of companies, their directors and secretaries. It has largely been superseded by the Companies Act 2006.
The Australian Democrats is a centrist political party in Australia. Founded in 1977 from a merger of the Australia Party and the New Liberal Movement, both of which were descended from Liberal Party splinter group, it was Australia's largest minor party from its formation in 1977 through to 2004 and frequently held the balance of power in the Senate during that time.
Plurality voting is an electoral system in which each voter is allowed to vote for only one candidate, and the candidate who polls the most among their counterparts is elected. In a system based on single-member districts, it may be called first-past-the-post (FPTP), single-choice voting, simple plurality or relative/simple majority. In a system based on multi-member districts, it may be referred to as winner-takes-all or bloc voting. The system is often used to elect members of a legislative assembly or executive officers. It is the most common form of the system, and is used in most elections in the United States, the lower house in India, elections to the House of Commons and English local elections in the United Kingdom and Canada.
Scotland is a country which is in a political union with the rest of the United Kingdom. Having been directly governed by the UK Government since 1707, a system of devolution was established in 1999, after the Scottish people voted by a firm majority to re-establish a primary law making Scottish Parliament in a referendum held in 1997.
The Legislative Council, or upper house, is one of the two chambers of the Parliament of South Australia. Its central purpose is to act as a house of review for legislation passed through the lower house, the House of Assembly. It sits in Parliament House in the state capital, Adelaide.
The European Parliament Election, 1999 was the United Kingdom's part of the European Parliament election 1999. It was held on 10 June 1999. Following the European Parliamentary Elections Act 1999, it was the first European election to be held in the United Kingdom where the whole country used a system of proportional representation. In total, 87 Members of the European Parliament were elected from the United Kingdom.
Richard John Huggett is a British former teacher who has been a candidate in a number of elections, using descriptions which were similar to those of established political parties, leading to this practice being outlawed under the Registration of Political Parties Act 1998.
The Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 is an Act of the Australian Parliament which continues to be the core legislation governing the conduct of elections in Australia, having been amended on numerous occasions since 1918. The Act was introduced by the Nationalist Party of Billy Hughes, the main purpose of which was to replace first-past-the-post voting with instant-runoff voting for the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Independent Liberal is a description allowed in politics to denote party affiliation. It is used to designate a politician as a liberal, yet independent of the official Liberal Party of a country. Those parties were the Liberal Party of Canada, or the Liberal Party of the United Kingdom, or the New Zealand Liberal Party.
Electoral reform in New York refers to efforts to change the voting and election laws in New York State.
Devon and East Plymouth was a European Parliament constituency covering all of Devon in England, with the exception of the city of Plymouth. It was created in 1994 to replace the majority of Devon and a small part of Cornwall and Plymouth.
Electoral reform is change in electoral systems to improve how public desires are expressed in election results. That can include reforms of:
Cannabis political parties are generally single-issue parties that exist to oppose the laws against cannabis.
There are six types of elections in the United Kingdom: elections to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, elections to devolved parliaments and assemblies, elections to the European Parliament, local elections, mayoral elections and Police and Crime Commissioner elections. Within each of those categories, there may be by-elections as well as general elections. Elections are held on Election Day, which is conventionally a Thursday. Since the passing of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 for general elections, all six types of elections are held after fixed periods, though early elections to parliament and the devolved assemblies and parliaments can occur in certain situations. Currently, six electoral systems are used: the single member plurality system, the multi member plurality system, party-list proportional representation, the single transferable vote, the additional member system and the supplementary vote.
The United Kingdom Alternative Vote referendum, also known as the UK-wide referendum on the Parliamentary voting system was held on Thursday 5 May 2011 in the United Kingdom (UK) to choose the method of electing MPs at subsequent general elections. It occurred as part of the Conservative – Liberal Democrat Coalition Agreement drawn up after the 2010 general election which had resulted in the first hung parliament since February 1974 and also indirectly in the aftermath of the 2009 expenses scandal. It operated under the provisions of the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011 and was the first national referendum to be held under provisions laid out in the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000.
The Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011(c. 1) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that made provision for the holding of a referendum on whether to introduce the Alternative Vote system in all future general elections to the UK Parliament and also made provision on the number and size of Parliamentary Constituencies. The Bill for the Act was introduced to the House of Commons on 22 July 2010 and passed third reading on 2 November by 321 votes to 264. The House of Lords passed the Bill, with amendments, on 14 February 2011, and after some compromises between the two Houses on amendments, it received Royal Assent on 16 February.
The Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which amended electoral law in the United Kingdom. It introduced Individual Electoral Registration (IER).
The next general election in the United Kingdom is scheduled to be held on 5 May 2022 under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011. The election may be held at an earlier date in the event of an early election motion being passed by a super-majority of two-thirds in the House of Commons, or a vote of no confidence in the government which is not followed by a vote of confidence within 14 days.
The European Union Referendum Act 2015(c. 36) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that made legal provision for a pre-legislative referendum to be held in the United Kingdom and Gibraltar, on whether it should remain a member state of the European Union or leave it. The bill was introduced to the House of Commons by Philip Hammond, Foreign Secretary on 28 May 2015. Two weeks later, the second reading of the Act was supported by MPs from all parties except the SNP; the Act subsequently passed on its third reading in the Commons on 7 September 2015 and was approved by the House of Lords on 14 December 2015, and given Royal Assent on 17 December 2015 and came partly into force on the same day and came into full legal force on 1 February 2016.