Scottish Elections (Representation and Reform) Bill

Closes 6 Mar 2024

Opened 7 Feb 2024

Overview

We want to hear from you

The Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee is seeking views on the Scottish Elections (Representation and Reform) Bill.

The Committee welcomes responses to any of the listed areas. Give us your views below.

About the Bill

The Scottish Elections (Representation and Reform) Bill was introduced to the
Scottish Parliament on 23 January 2024. The Committee has been designated as lead committee on the Bill.

The Bill makes a number of changes to the law affecting Scottish Parliament and
Scottish local government elections known as Scottish elections.

This includes:

  • amending electoral law in relation to Scottish elections to confer additional candidacy rights,
  • setting out new rules governing candidates,
  • introducing campaign finance changes,
  • changing regulations on digital imprints,
  • setting out processes for emergency re-scheduling of elections and reform arrangements for several electoral organisations.

The Committee would like to hear views on whether the proposed legislation will help to increase participation by extending the right to stand as a candidate in the Scottish Parliament and local government elections in Scotland.

In addition, the Committee would like views on any of the following changes
proposed in the Bill:

Who Can Stand at an Election

  • allowing foreign nationals with limited leave to remain 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

Campaign Finance

  • changes to how much money can be spent during an election campaign, especially in relation to third-party campaigners

Running Elections

  • 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, and 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 and creating an offence if people do not follow the rules on the information that should be on digital election materials

Election Governance Reform

  • 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.

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).

If you wish to request that your submission be published without your name, please contact us at SPPA.Committee@parliament.scot.

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. 

Interests

  • SPPAC