Wednesday November 19, 2003 @ 12:44 GMT
Features Issues and Advice Cool Stuff My Pupiline Forums Local Areas
Search for: on
Home » Features » Y Vote? »
Featurespupiline interactives
  Being Positive
  Dating and Dumping
  Exam Stress
  Friends & Family
  Keeping Legal
  Part-Time Jobs
  Self Harm (by SCL School)
  Sex and You
  Y Vote?
Issues & Advice
Cool Stuff
My Pupiline
Local Areas
About Us

"So you are in the house of commons in your brand new shoes…"

The pupiline guide to just HOW to get there.

Qualification and disqualification

To sit as a Member of Parliament (MP) in the House of Commons, you gotta be a British citizen, a citizen of another Commonwealth country, or a citizen of the Republic of Ireland. You must be 21 or over. If you're a Citizen of the European Union, you're not eligible to be an MP, unless you meet the above requirements. There is nothing to prevent you from standing as candidates at local government and European Parliament elections.

Those disqualified from sitting in the House of Commons include:

  • Peers who sit in the House of Lords
  • People who are bankrupt
  • Clergy of the Church of England, the Church of Ireland and the Roman Catholic Church (but the House of Commons (Removal of Clergy Disqualification) Bill, currently before Parliament, will abolish this disqualification)
  • Certain persons holding offices of profit under the Crown (including holders of judicial office, civil servants, members of the armed forces, or the police forces, members of the legislature of any country or territory outside the Commonwealth, and Government-nominated directors of commercial companies)
  • Prisoners - under the Representation of the People Act 1981 a person found guilty of one or more offences and sentenced to more than 12 months is disqualified while detained in the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland
  • People found guilty of certain electoral offences (corrupt or illegal practices).


Candidates must be proposed and seconded by two electors and eight others as assentors, who are also electors. An elector is defined as a person who is registered, in the register of parliamentary electors, for the constituency where the candidate wishes to stand on the last day for publication of the notice of election. A constituency is an area, which elects an MP to represent them in Parliament, constituencies vary in size and population and can be many small towns and villages or areas within large towns and cities.

Candidates’ Descriptions

A person may only stand as a candidate at a parliamentary election if his nomination paper also has an authorising certificate from, or on behalf of, the nominating officer of a registered political party. However if his nomination paper either gives the description "Independent" or gives no description whatsoever, that's OK. A description used by a candidate standing in the name of a registered party must not exceed six words. The description given on a candidate’s nomination paper is included, along with his name and address, on the ballot paper.

There are currently (as at 20 March 2001) 106 parties on the Great Britain register and 23 parties on the Northern Ireland register (12 parties are on both registers). The Electoral Commission maintains the registers. Once Parliament is dissolved there are no MPs, so candidates who were MPs may not describe themselves as such on the ballot paper.

Candidates must consent in writing to their own nomination. A person shall not be validly nominated unless:

  • His consent to nomination is given in writing on or within one month before the day fixed as the last day for the delivery of nomination papers
  • It's attested by one witness
  • It's delivered at the place and within the time for the delivery of nomination papers.

A candidate’s consent shall state the day, month and year of their birth and that they are aware of the provisions of the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975 and that to the best of their knowledge and belief they are not disqualified for membership of the House of Commons. It is possible to be nominated for more than one constituency but, if successful, a candidate must choose which to represent within certain time limits. This is a matter for the House of Commons to determine.

Acceptance of the nomination paper

The acting returning officer can refuse to accept a nomination paper if the particulars are not as required by law, if the nomination paper is incorrectly subscribed, or if the candidate is disqualified by the Representation of the People Act 1981. He is not required to ascertain whether a candidate is qualified.

Deposit and loss of deposit

Candidates must deposit the sum of £500 with the acting returning officer when nomination papers are delivered. Candidates who poll less than one-twentieth of the total vote's cast (5%) forfeit their deposit.

So if you have got all that all you have to do now is shove in the nomination and go out and get more votes that the other guys standing and you have a new job!

BY THE WAY don’t forget to ask the returning officer all about those rules governing election expenses. As it would be a shame if you went to all this effort, then got disqualified for not complying with the rules on what you can spend your money on or not putting in your expense form in afterwards!


So Why Bother About Voting, If You Are Not 18 Yet?

So How Do You Vote?

The Pupiline Guide To The Main UK Political Parties

Our Stories... Standing For Election

Our Stories... I'm Not Old Enough To Vote But I'm Still Getting Involved'

Y Vote Links

The above applies to the political process in the United Kingdom and follows the laws of the UK.

- The Pupiline Team

European Union
Do you think the UK should be part of Europe?
Yes...It's a positive thing
No...It makes us less British
Don't care

Do you think that Politics is boring?
Only because of who's involved at the moment

©1999-2003 Pupiline Limited, 2003-2008 Creative Commons. For info email Oli Originally powered by KeConnect Internet, now powered by XCalibre and the Big Boost, recovered thanks to Warrick

©1999-2003 Pupiline Limited, 2003-2008 Creative Commons. For info email Oli Originally powered by KeConnect Internet, now powered by XCalibre and the Big Boost, recovered thanks to Warrick

©1999-2003 Pupiline Limited, 2003-2008 Creative Commons. For info email Oli Originally powered by KeConnect Internet, now powered by XCalibre and the Big Boost, recovered thanks to Warrick