Wednesday 21 April 2010


Every candidate for the UK General Election will have had to provide a deposit of £500, which was payable before the close of nominations (4pm yesterday). This will be returned only if they
gain more than 5% of the total valid votes cast in the constituency. Some individuals will have provided the money themselves, but most will come from the national party organisation.

The Electoral Commission has stated that "Payment may be made by legal tender. Payment may also be made by a banker’s draft from a drawer (i.e. a bank/building society) which carries out business as a banker in the UK.

The (Acting) Returning Officer has a discretionary power to accept alternative forms of payment, such as credit or debit card or the electronic transfer of funds. You or your agent should always check with the (Acting) Returning Officer as to the acceptable methods of payment. If card or transfer payments are accepted, they must have reached the (Acting) Returning Officer’s account by the close of nominations, otherwise your nomination will be ruled invalid.

If the (Acting) Returning Officer allows the deposit to be paid by credit or debit card, there may be a fee charged by the bank or credit card company for the transaction, in which case you will be required to pay any additional fees as well as the £500 deposit."

In response to a Freedom of Information Act Request, the Electoral Commission reported that
"The number of deposits lost by parties or individual candidates at the 2005 UK Parliamentary general election was 1,385. The deposit required was £500, making the total amount of the lost deposits £692,500." There were 3,546 candidates in total.

Even if the deposit is lost - it has bought some value. All candidates are entitled to

  • free postage for one election communication to electors in the constituency.
  • use of certain rooms free of charge to hold public meetings