Scottish Elections (Representation and Reform) Bill
The Bill changes the law affecting Scottish Parliament elections and Scottish local government elections.
The Bill is at Stage 1
The Bill makes several changes to the law affecting Scottish Parliament elections and Scottish local government elections.
These changes include:
- allowing certain foreign nationals (people who have the right to live in Scotland but do not have British citizenship) to stand for election
- creating a new rule that would prevent a person from standing as a candidate if they have committed an offence involving the intimidation of election staff or people standing for election
- changes to how much money can be spent during an election campaign, especially in relation to groups or campaigners that are not a political party or a candidate
- enhancing the Parliament’s Presiding Officer’s power to delay Scottish Parliament elections, and by-elections, in emergency situations
- making it easier to arrange election pilots, which aim to increase voting engagement
- allowing the Scottish Government to fund activities to increase democratic engagement
- clarifying the information that needs to be on digital election materials posted by an organisation that isn’t a regulated campaigner
- creating an offence if people do not follow the rules on the information that should be on digital election materials
- changing the deadline date for the Boundaries Scotland report on local government boundaries and the number of councillors in those boundaries from 31 December 2028 to 30 April 2031
- changing the ways in which Scottish Parliament scrutinises the activities of the Electoral Commission in relation to Scottish Parliament and local elections
- making the Electoral Management Board for Scotland an organisation that is formally constituted in law with certain obligations
Why the Bill was created
In 2014, the Smith Commission published a report that set out what further powers should be devolved to the Scottish Parliament.
An area the Commission considered was Scottish Parliament and Scottish local government elections. In its report, the Commission recommended that the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Ministers should have more control of these.
This Bill makes some changes proposed by the Scottish Government in some of the areas where the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Ministers now have control.