Liberal Democrats

Committee Election Regulations



  1. The Chair of the Federal Appeals Panel shall be the Returning Officer. The rules of the Federal Appeals Panel shall make provision for a process to replace the Chair in this role if necessary. The Chief Executive shall be the Acting Returning Officer. The Head of Compliance and Constitutional Support shall be the Deputy Acting Returning Officer. Other Deputy Acting Returning Officers may be appointed if required by the Acting Returning Officer.

  2. a.    The Federal Executive shall draw up a timetable for each year’s publication of notice of elections, deadline to be used for determining right to vote in election, receipts of nominations, dispatch and return of ballot papers, and the counting of the votes for each election covered by these regulations.

        The Returning Officer may postpone or suspend these elections if it would conflict with a Parliamentary General Election or a Referendum covering England, Scotland, Wales or any combination thereof.

    c.    The Returning Officer may make provision for voters who wish to do so to cast their ballots electronically, and to view the candidates’ election addresses electronically.

    d.    The Returning Officer may carry out electronic communications with the electorate to facilitate the election, including to raise turnout. 

  3. Nominations may be submitted by:

    a.    Any Local Party;

    b.    Any Regional Party;

    c.    Any State Party;

    d.    Any Specified Associated Organisations; or

    e.    Any ten party members and must be accompanied by the written consent of the candidate. However, for the election of Councillor Reps see regulation 15(b).

    f.     A nominator may not subscribe to more nomination papers than there are vacancies in the election being held.

    g.    In order to be covered by one of the minimum representation requirements under Article 7 of the constitution, a candidate should submit information as to which of the protected characteristics of the Equality Act apply to themselves with their nomination paper.

    h.    All forms set out in this regulation may be submitted via email.

  4. a.    Each candidate shall be entitled to include in the mailing of ballot papers for each election in which he or she is a candidate a personal election address covering up to one side of A5 paper, printed by and at the expense of the Federal Party. Election address artwork in camera ready form as a high resolution PDF or text-only Word document must reach the Acting Returning Officer at an address and by a date to be notified. There will be an attendance list published with each committee’s manifestos and that shall also include a report of the consecutive number of years the candidate has served on that committee (regardless of the route by which they have become a member of the committee).

    b.    The Returning Officer may make provision for voters to view the candidates’ election addresses along with the attendance list and terms of service electronically as well as, or instead of, through the postal mailing.

    c.    No candidate may incur, or directly or indirectly authorise or cause to be incurred any further expenses on campaigning at any time before or after the close of nominations.

    d.    Each candidate shall be responsible for supplying material that verifies, to the satisfaction of the Acting Returning Officer, any statement in their personal election address claiming that they are endorsed by any individual or organisation. Such material must accompany the candidate’s personal election address artwork. 
    e.    Candidates must not carry out any activities during the election period which may be viewed as treating. 

  5. The Returning Officer may make provision for voters who wish to do so to cast their ballots electronically. Any online voting system shall prompt members to look at candidates’ manifestos prior to voting and for randomisation of the names on the ballot paper.

  6. The names and addresses of party members are confidential and shall not be released for the purposes of the election. Any candidate or supporter of a candidate facilitating a breach of this clause will be deemed to be in breach of the Party’s Data Protection Registration. Candidates should have due regard to their data protection responsibilities when collecting and using any data of their own in a Party Election.

  7. a.    No official party publication may accept advertisements in support of or in opposition to candidates. 

    b.    Candidates may not use official party publications to specifically promote their candidacy but all other articles are permissible.  

  8. No material published or circulated by or on behalf of a candidate shall defame by name or implication any other candidate and no candidate shall so defame any other candidate in the course of personal canvassing. 

  9. The Returning Officer shall have the power to disqualify before declaration of the result, or unseat if declared elected, any candidate who is found to be in breach of regulations 4, 6, 7(b) or 8, but shall not exercise such power without first offering any such candidate the right to make representation, and having regard thereto. 

  10. a.    All contested elections shall be conducted by secret ballot and the single transferable vote. Counts shall be conducted in accordance with the current edition of the Electoral Reform Society’s publication How to Conduct an Election by the Single Transferable Vote. If the Specified Proportions of candidates with protected characteristics in Article 7 of the Federal Party Constitution are not elected by the operation of the above rules, the Returning Officer shall conduct such further counts as they consider necessary and declare elected those members of the underrepresented characteristics and declare not elected those members of the over-represented characteristics who would or would not have been elected to committees with such larger and smaller numbers of members as would cause the correct number of that characteristic to be elected.

    b.    As required by the September 1992 conference motion elections to the ALDE Council delegation shall include a minimum of one person from each State Party and one person under the age of 26 at the time of election.

  11. Casual vacancies occurring shall be filled by recounting the original ballot papers in the election, passing over any preferences for any candidate causing a vacancy. If necessary, further counts shall be conducted using the principles set out in regulation 10 to ensure that all candidates originally elected so remain and that the Specified Proportions of protected characteristics are maintained. 

  12. Any party member may lodge, in writing, a formal complaint of infringement of election regulations forthwith upon becoming aware of any alleged infringement and not more than 21 days after the declaration. The written complaint should be addressed to the Acting Returning Officer and specify in detail the nature of the infringement. The Returning Officer shall then decide, in full consultation with the Acting Returning Officer, whether there is sufficient evidence and grounds to uphold the complaint, but shall not do so without offering any candidate concerned the right to make representations, and having regard thereto. 

  13. Appeals against decisions of the Returning Officer must be referred to the Federal Appeals Panel within 14 days of the decision. For the purposes of appeals under these regulations one of the Panel Vice Chair’s shall act as the Chair of the Federal Appeals Panel, unless they are not available when the other Panel members shall appoint one of their number as Acting Chair. 

  14. a.    If a complaint is made prior to the declaration of the result, the Returning Officer shall have the power to postpone such declaration until the determination of such complaint or, where an appeal is made against their decision, until the determination of such appeal.

    b.    The Returning Officer shall have the discretion to use this power to suspend individual candidates from serving on a committee they are elected too whilst any such complaint is investigated and/or subject to Appeal.

    .    Complaints about conduct in party elections shall be maintained in the register of complaints held by the Pastoral Care Officer 

  15. a.    These Regulations shall be used for the triennial elections to the Federal Executive, Federal Conference Committee, Federal Policy Committee, International Relations Committee, ELDR Delegation and other such elections as may be specified in the various other levels of the Constitution referring to rules made under section 8.5 of the Federal Constitution.

    b.    They shall also be used for the election of Principal Councillor Representatives on the Federal Executive and the Federal Policy Committee except section three shall read: “Nominations shall be submitted by any two Principal Councillors with valid membership and must be accompanied by the written consent of the candidate”.

  16. These regulations will be reviewed by the Federal Executive in a report from the Returning Officer no later than six months after the completion of the triennial elections. The report must include a report on any diversity measures taken as a result of any requirement under the Federal Party Constitution, potential data protection breaches and any changes or clarifications required by rulings made by the Returning Officer or the Federal Appeals Panel.


Amended September 2016