A party’s election expenses are the costs of advertising in any medium that:
may reasonably be regarded as either encouraging voters to vote for the party or discouraging voters from voting for another party, or both (whether or not the name of the party(s) are mentioned),
- is published, or continues to be published, during the regulated period, and
- is promoted by the party secretary or any person (including a registered promoter) authorised by the party secretary.
See section 206 of the Electoral Act for further details.
Party election expenses include:
- the cost incurred in the preparation, design, composition, printing, postage and publication of the advertisement,
- the reasonable market value of any materials used for the advertisement, including materials provided to the party free of charge or below reasonable market value,
- the apportioned costs for advertisements that promote two or more parties, or a party and a candidate.
A party’s broadcasting allocation expenses, paid by the Electoral Commission out of money allocated to the party under Part 6 of the Broadcasting Act, are not party election expenses.
Since 2017 there is a new requirement to file a return of the party's allocation expenses - which will be reported with the party election expenses.
All parties that received an allocation of money under the Broadcasting Act 1989, which can be used on TV, radio or the internet, must report the amount of the party’s allocation and the accounts sent by the party to the Electoral Commission for payment out of the party’s allocation.
Party expenses returns for each election are available below: