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On 13 July 2011 the Government published draft legislation on three electoral administration provisions for pre-legislative scrutiny. The draft provisions extend the timetable for UK Parliamentary elections from 17 to 25 working days; make changes to the timing of polling place reviews in Great Britain to bring them into line with the proposals for fixed-term Parliaments and the five year cycle for boundary reviews, and will also introduce provisions to allow Parliamentary election candidates jointly nominated by two or more political parties to use an emblem on the ballot paper.

Further draft electoral administration proposals were published on 14 September 2011. These remove the automatic postponement of parish and community council elections in England and Wales that currently occurs when a Parliamentary or European Parliamentary general election falls on the ordinary day for local government elections.

The draft legislation forms part of a larger package of measures including draft legislation on individual electoral registration (IER). The proposals on IER have been published separately, see Library Standard Note 5995 for further details.

The Political and Constitutional Reform Committee examined the Government’s proposals for individual electoral registration and the other electoral administration provisions at the same time and published its report on 4 November 2011.

The Government published its response to the PCR Committee’s report on 9 February 2012.

The Law Commission has also announced in its Eleventh Programme of Law Reform that it will rationalise the complex framework of electoral law.

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