Scottish Elections (Representation and Reform) Bill: Financial Memorandum

Closes 6 Mar 2024

Opened 9 Feb 2024


About the Bill

The Bill makes several changes to the law affecting Scottish Parliament elections and Scottish local government elections.

These changes include:

  • allowing certain foreign nationals (people who have the right to live in Scotland but do not have British citizenship) to stand for election;
  • creating a new rule that would prevent a person from standing as a candidate if they have committed an offence involving the intimidation of election staff or people standing for election;
  • changes to how much money can be spent during an election campaign, especially in relation to groups or campaigners that are not a political party or a candidate;
  • enhancing the Parliament’s Presiding Officer’s power to delay Scottish Parliament elections, and by-elections, in emergency situations;
  • making it easier to arrange election pilots, which aim to increase voting engagement;
  • allowing the Scottish Government to fund activities to increase democratic engagement;
  • clarifying the information that needs to be on digital election materials posted by an organisation that isn’t a regulated campaigner;
  • creating an offence if people do not follow the rules on the information that should be on digital election materials;
  • changing the deadline date for the Boundaries Scotland report on local government boundaries and the number of councillors in those boundaries from 31 December 2028 to 30 April 2031;
  • changing the ways in which Scottish Parliament scrutinises the activities of the Electoral Commission in relation to Scottish Parliament and local elections;
  • making the Electoral Management Board for Scotland an organisation that is formally constituted in law with certain obligations.

Current Status of the Bill 

This Bill was introduced in the Scottish Parliament by the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Finance on 23 January 2024.

Read and find out more about the Bill: Scottish Elections (Representation and Reform) Bill.

Stage 1 

The Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee has been designated as the lead Committee for the Bill. A separate call for views on the Bill’s policy provisions will be issued by the lead Committee in due course and published on this consultation platform.

Financial Memorandum 

As with all Bills, the Finance and Public Administration Committee invites written evidence on the estimated financial implications of the Bill as set out in its accompanying Financial Memorandum (FM). 
Read the FM published alongside this Bill.

Making a Submission

Before making a submission, please read our Privacy Notice about submitting your views to a Committee. This tells you about how we process personal data. 

Please note that in most cases your submission will be published on the Scottish Parliament's website and may be quoted in the Committee's report or in Committee meetings (which are public and broadcast). 

Please use the Questionnaire provided for your submission:

1. Did you take part in any consultation exercise preceding the Bill and, if so, did you comment on the financial assumptions made?  

2. If applicable, do you believe your comments on the financial assumptions have been accurately reflected in the FM?  

3. Did you have sufficient time to contribute to the consultation exercise?

4. If the Bill has any financial implications for you or your organisation, do you believe that they have been accurately reflected in the FM? If not, please provide details. 

5. Do you consider that the estimated costs and savings set out in the FM are reasonable and accurate?  

6. If applicable, are you content that your organisation can meet any financial costs that it might incur as a result of the Bill? If not, how do you think these costs should be met?  

7. Does the FM accurately reflect the margins of uncertainty associated with the Bill’s estimated costs and with the timescales over which they would be expected to arise? 

The deadline to submit your views is: Wednesday 6 March 2024.

We welcome written views in English, Gaelic, Scots or any other language. Due to the time required to process and analyse evidence, late submissions will only be accepted with the agreement of the Committee Clerk. 


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