Party Political Broadcasts - Commons Library Standard Note

Published 02 May 2013 | Standard notes SN03354

Amended 07 May 2013

Authors: Oonagh Gay

Topic: Elections, General elections

This note sets out the current arrangements for party political broadcasts including such matters as their allocation, frequency, length and content. It also makes reference to the long-standing ban on political advertising in the UK and the questions this raises in terms of freedom of expression and compatibility with the European Convention on Human Rights. A recent case, Animal Defenders International v United Kingdom (Application no 48876/08) has held, on a majority, that the ban on political advertising did not amount to a disproportionate interference with the right to freedom of expression.

The term ‘party political broadcasts’ (PPBs) is used generically here to refer to party election broadcasts (PEBs), referendum campaign broadcasts (RCBs) and the party political broadcasts which have been linked to specific political events such as the Budget and Queen’s Speech.

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