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The regulation of third parties which register to campaign at general elections will be changed by the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014, part 2. The provisions will not come into force until the day after the referendum on independence for Scotland on 18 September 2014 and the Electoral Commission will be issuing guidance in early July. In the meantime. The main changes are:

• A wider range of activities will be subject to the new rules on spending by non-party campaigners. Activities will be regulated if they can reasonably be regarded as intended to influence voters at the election. These include:

• certain public rallies and events

• press conferences and media events

• canvassing and market research

• transport in connection with publicising a campaign

• The thresholds above which third parties must register has been increased in order to reflect the wider ranges of activities regulated. These will be £20,000 in England or £10,000 in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland

• The amount non-party campaigners can spend at UK Parliamentary General Elections during the regulated period will be: • £319,800 in England • £55,400 in Scotland • £44,000 in Wales £30,800 in Northern Ireland.

• New limits on spending focus in particular constituencies, and on spending that is aimed at promoting one political party during the regulated period for a UK Parliamentary general election. This involves new pre-poll and post-poll reporting obligations.


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