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There are limits on how much money candidates spend at elections, and controls on the sources of funding for that spending.

Spending limits

After the election, candidates and their agents must account for the costs of campaigning and donations to the campaign in a spending return.

The current spending limit for a candidate standing in a local government election is £806.00, plus 7p per local government elector registered to vote on the last day for publication of the Notice of Election in the ward being contested.

For example, if there are 7,500 local government electors in a ward, the spending limit is: 

£806 + (7,500 x 0.07) = £1,331

The number of electors that candidates will need to calculate the expenses limits is the total number of qualified electors on the local government register as at 1 April 2022.

The table below shows the number of local government electors in each ward as on 1 April 2022:

Eligible elector totals for borough Council elections on Thursday 5 May 2022
Ward Number of local government electors
Barnes 7,472
East Sheen 7,444
Fulwell and Hampton Hill 7,903
Ham, Petersham and Richmond Riverside 7,411
Hampton 7,308
Hampton North 7,307
Hampton Wick and South Teddington 8,029
Heathfield 7,292
Kew 8,573
Mortlake and Barnes Common 8,171
North Richmond 7,521
South Richmond 7,751
South Twickenham 7,412
St Margarets and North Twickenham 8,263
Teddington 7,892
Twickenham Riverside 7,757
West Twickenham 7,802
Whitton 7,533

Joint candidates

You are a joint candidate if you stand in the same ward and:

  • Have the same election agent, or
  • Use the same campaign rooms, or
  • Publish joint material

Joint candidates have lower spending limits, as they are sharing some of the costs. You should calculate your spending limit as above, and then reduce it by a quarter (25%) if you have two joint candidates, and by a third (33%) if you have three joint candidates.

For example, two candidates standing in the same ward decide to issue joint campaign material. This makes them joint candidates. There are 7,500 local government electors in a ward. To calculate each joint candidates spending limit:

  • First, calculate the spending limit for a single candidate: £806 + (7,500 x 0.07) = £1,331
  • Then, calculate 25% of this amount: £1,331 x (25÷100) = £332.75 
  • Then, take this amount off the spending limit for a single candidate: £1,331 - £332.75 = £998.25

The spending limit for each of the two joint candidates is £998.25

Please note that the calculation of spending limits is the responsibility of the candidate and/or election agent.

Forms

Further guidance

Visit the Electoral Commission's website for further guidance on candidate spending.

You can also contact The Electoral Commission by email at pef@electoralcommission.org.uk, or by phone on 0333 103 1928.

Updated: 14 April 2022

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