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The relationship between political parties and their regulators

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Alistair Clark



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


Political parties are in a unique situation, being able to change electoral rules and regulations to minimise any potential negative effects on their electoral prospects. Attempts to influence regulators, however, can be complex and include voicing concerns, public pressure and the regulatory capture of electoral regulators. Little is known about this relationship between parties and their regulators. This paper focuses on this crucial electoral relationship through a study of political parties’ relations with the UK Electoral Commission. The first section addresses the background to the legal regulation of political parties. The second section proposes a framework through which parties’ reactions to regulation may be understood. The third part introduces the British case, providing evidence to demonstrate the broad utility of the framework. The final section analyses the issues that parties have raised with their regulators.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Clark A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Party Politics

Year: 2017

Volume: 23

Issue: 6

Pages: 646-656

Print publication date: 01/11/2017

Online publication date: 09/11/2015

Acceptance date: 15/10/2015

Date deposited: 11/11/2015

ISSN (print): 1354-0688

ISSN (electronic): 1460-3683

Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd


DOI: 10.1177/1354068815616027


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