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What is the Pre-election Period?

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What is the pre-election period?

The pre-election period describes the period immediately before elections or referendums when specific restrictions on communications activity are in place for public bodies and their staff in order not to unfairly influence the outcome of an election.

Who does this affect?

During the pre-election period people in roles that are defined as ‘politically restricted’ are prevented from having an active political role either in or outside of work. The staff of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and police officers are in politically restricted roles. This does not exclude them from voting.

Police staff can engage in limited political activities, subject to the terms and conditions of their role and provided that they observe the Official Secrets Act, confine their activities to times when they are not on duty, and comply with all relevant legislation.

Pre-election rules restrict activity wider than just publicity and campaigning. Use of publicly funded facilities and resources; developing new policies and holding of events – including some meetings – featuring elected officials are all carefully considered during this period.

Are Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) being elected?

No, this is a general election in which people are voting for their local Member of Parliament (MP).  Elections for PCCs in England and Wales took place on 2 May 2024.

More information about the general election can be found on the Electoral Commission’s website.

When does the pre-election period start?

The pre-election period started on 25 May and will continue until the completion of the general election process.