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Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill


Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill

1

 

A

Bill

To

Amend the Representation of the People Acts in respect of deceased

candidates. 

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and

consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present

Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1       

Deceased candidates

In Schedule 1 to the Representation of the People Act 1983 (c. 2) (parliamentary

elections rules), for Part VI substitute-

“Part VI

DEATH OF CANDIDATE

5

Death of candidate

60    (1)  

Rules 61 to 63 of these rules apply if at a contested election proof is

given to the returning officer's satisfaction before the result of the

election is declared that one of the persons named or to be named as

a candidate in the ballot papers has died.

10

      (2)  

Rule 61 of these rules applies in any case to which neither rule 62 nor

rule 63 applies.

      (3)  

Rule 62 of these rules applies if the deceased candidate was—

(a)   

not the candidate of a registered political party (subject to

paragraph 4);

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(b)   

the candidate of a registered political party whose candidate

at the previous general election received fewer than 10 per

cent of the votes cast in that constituency;

(c)   

the candidate of a registered political party—

(i)   

which did not contest that constituency at the

20

previous general election, and

(ii)   

whose candidates received fewer than 5 per cent of

the total number of votes cast at that election; or

 
Bill 41 54/1
 
 

Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill

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(d)   

a candidate in more than one constituency.

      (4)  

Rule 63 of these rules applies (and rule 62 does not apply) if the

deceased candidate was the Speaker of the House of Commons

seeking re-election.

Modification of arrangements for poll following death of candidate

5

61    (1)  

If this rule applies, a new candidate may be nominated in place of the

deceased candidate provided that the conditions in paragraph (2) are

satisfied.

      (2)  

The conditions are that the new candidate—

(a)   

must be nominated not more than 7 days after the day on

10

which proof was given to the returning officer of the death;

and

(b)   

must use the same description as the deceased candidate.

      (3)  

If a new candidate is nominated under paragraph (1), the Timetable

in rule 1 of these rules shall have effect as if for the entry relating to

15

polling there were substituted—

 

“Polling

In the case of a general election

 
   

or a by-election, between the

 
   

hours of 7 in the morning and

 
   

10 at night on the day fixed by

 

20

   

the returning officer, which

 
   

shall not be earlier than the day

 
   

originally fixed for the poll, nor

 
   

later than the twenty-eighth

 
   

day after the day on which

 

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proof was given to the

 
   

returning officer of the death.”

 

      (4)  

If the day fixed under paragraph (3) (“the new polling day”) is later

than the day originally fixed for the poll, a new candidate may be

nominated in place of any candidate who has withdrawn his

30

candidature (“the former candidate”) provided that the conditions in

paragraphs (5) and (6) are satisfied.

      (5)  

The conditions in this paragraph are that the former candidate was

(and the new candidate is)—

(a)   

the candidate of a registered political party whose candidate

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received 10 per cent or more of the votes cast in that

constituency at the previous general election; or

(b)   

the candidate of a registered political party-

(i)   

which did not contest that constituency at the

previous general election, and

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(ii)   

whose candidates received 5 per cent or more of the

total number of votes cast at that election; and

(c)   

a candidate in that constituency only.

      (6)  

The conditions in this paragraph are that the new candidate—

 
 

Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill

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(a)   

must be nominated not more than 7 days after the day on

which the new polling day was fixed;

(b)   

must use the same description as the former candidate; and

(c)   

must satisfy the returning officer that the withdrawal of the

former candidate is wholly or mainly attributable to the

5

change in the date of the poll.

      (7)  

If no new candidate is nominated under paragraph (1)—

(a)   

the candidacy of the deceased candidate shall be null and

void; and

(b)   

if the ballot papers have been printed, the returning officer

10

may arrange for them to be reprinted without that person's

name and other particulars if he is satisfied that reprinted

ballot papers will be available before the day fixed for the

poll.

Death of independent etc. candidate

15

62         

If this rule applies—

(a)   

the candidacy of the deceased candidate shall be null and

void, and

(b)   

if the ballot papers have been printed, the returning officer

may arrange for them to be reprinted without that person's

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name and other particulars if he is satisfied that reprinted

ballot papers will be available before the day fixed for the

poll.

Countermand or abandonment of poll on death of Speaker of House of Commons seeking re-

election

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63    (1)  

If this rule applies the returning officer shall countermand notice of

the poll or, if polling has begun, direct that the poll be abandoned,

and all proceedings with reference to the election shall be

commenced afresh in all respects as if the writ had been received 7

days after the day on which proof was given to the returning officer

30

of the death except that—

(a)   

no fresh nomination shall be necessary in the case of a person

shown in the statement of persons nominated as standing

nominated, and

(b)   

in the case of a general election, as in the case of a by-election,

35

the time for delivery of nomination papers and the time for

polling shall be determined in accordance with the third

column in the Timetable in rule 1 of these rules (with the

necessary modification of any reference to the date on which

the writ is received).

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      (2)  

Where the poll is abandoned by reason of the death of the Speaker of

the House of Commons seeking re-election the proceedings at or

consequent on that poll shall be interrupted, and the presiding

officer at any polling station shall take the like steps (so far as not

already taken) for the delivery to the returning officer of ballot boxes

45

and of ballot papers and other documents as he is required to take on

the close of the poll in due course, and the returning officer shall

dispose of ballot papers and other documents in his possession as he

 
 

Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill

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is required to do on the completion in due course of the counting of

the votes, but—

(a)   

it shall not be necessary for any ballot paper account to be

prepared or verified; and

(b)   

the returning officer, without taking any step or further step

5

for the counting of the ballot papers or of the votes shall seal

up all the ballot papers, whether the votes on them have been

counted or not, and it shall not be necessary to seal up

counted and rejected ballot papers in separate packets.

      (3)  

The provisions of these rules as to the inspection, production,

10

retention and destruction of ballot papers and other documents

relating to a poll at an election apply to any such documents relating

to a poll abandoned by reason of a candidate's death, with the

following modifications—

(a)   

ballot papers on which the votes were neither counted nor

15

rejected shall be treated as counted ballot papers; and

(b)   

no order shall be made for the production or inspection of

any ballot papers or for the opening of a sealed packet of

counterfoils or certificates as to employment on duty on the

day of the poll unless the order is made by a court with

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reference to a prosecution.”

2       

Citation and commencement

(1)   

This Act may be cited as the Representation of the People (Amendment) Act

2005, and is included among the Acts which may be cited as the Representation

of the People Acts.

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(2)   

This Act comes into force at the end of the period of two months beginning

with the day on which this Act is passed.

 
 

 
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Revised 21 July 2005