Electoral Act, 1997
Expenses and payments at presidential election.
52.—(1) (a) In this Part, subject to paragraph (b), “election expenses” means all expenditure incurred in connection with a presidential election in order to promote or oppose, directly or indirectly, the election of a candidate or to solicit votes for or against a candidate or to present the policies or a particular policy of a candidate or the views of a candidate on any matter connected with the election or the comments of a candidate on the policy or policies of another candidate at the presidential election, or otherwise to influence the outcome of the election and shall be deemed to include all expenditure incurred in the taking of an opinion poll or other similar survey relating to a presidential election within the period of 60 days before polling day at the election by or on behalf of a candidate at the election.
(b) The following shall be deemed not to be election expenses for the purposes of this Part—
(i) expenditure on the purchase of copies of the register of electors or parts thereof;
(ii) the reasonable living expenses of the candidate or any person or persons working on behalf of the candidate on a voluntary basis;
(iii) any sum disbursed by any individual out of the individual's own resources for any minor expenses lawfully incurred in relation to the presidential election if the said sum is not repaid to the person;
(iv) any of the matters referred to in paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of section 46 .
(2) Where property, goods or services are provided to a candidate at a presidential election without payment or other consideration therefor or at a price which is less than the commercial price, the provision of the property, goods or services shall be deemed to be an election expense and the property, goods or services shall be deemed to have been provided at the commercial price and shall be accounted for accordingly by the presidential election agent in the statement to be furnished under section 56 to the Public Offices Commission.
(3) All election expenses incurred and all payments made by or on behalf of a candidate at a presidential election, including election expenses so incurred or payments so made at any time before the date of the presidential election order, for the provision of property, goods or services for use at the election, shall be reckoned for the purpose of this Part and shall be included in the statement to be furnished to the Public Offices Commission under section 56 .
(4) No election expenses shall be incurred at a presidential election and no payment, advance or deposit shall be made in respect of such election expenses on behalf of a candidate at the presidential election other than by the presidential election agent of the candidate or such person or persons authorised for this purpose by the said presidential election agent and subject to limits regarding expenditure and payment which shall be specified in such authorisation.
(5) Where any election expenses (within the meaning of this Part) are incurred at a presidential election by a body which—
(a) is a political party which supports the candidature of a candidate, or
(b) was established by or on behalf of a candidate, or by or on behalf of a political party which supports the candidature of the candidate, for the purpose of incurring election expenses or making payments in respect of such expenses or for any of the purposes referred to in subsection (1) (a), or
(c) is a member of or is a branch or subsidiary organisation (within the meaning of section 22 (1)) of a political party which supports the candidature of the candidate, or
(d) is effectively controlled by the candidate or a political party which supports the candidature of the candidate or is or appears to be so connected with or associated with the candidate or a political party which supports the candidature of the candidate that a reasonable person would believe that it is controlled or substantially influenced by the candidate or political party,
such expenses shall be deemed to have been incurred on behalf of the candidate concerned and shall be accounted for accordingly by the presidential election agent of the candidate and the provisions of this Part shall apply in relation thereto.
(6) Before incurring any expenses at a presidential election a person (other than the presidential election agent of a candidate or a person authorised by such agent for the purposes of subsection (4)) who proposes to incur election expenses (within the meaning of this Part), shall furnish to the Public Offices Commission in writing—
(a) the name, address and description of the person proposing to incur the expenses,
(b) a statement of the nature, purpose and estimated amount of such expenses, and
(c) an indication of the person's connection, if any, with any candidate or with any political party which supports the candidature of a candidate at the election.
(7) Where, notwithstanding the provisions of section 50 (1) (a), election expenses are incurred by or on behalf of a candidate at a presidential election before the appointment by the candidate of an election agent, the candidate shall furnish to the relevant agent details of such expenses, together with all relevant vouchers, and such election expenses shall be deemed to be expenses incurred by the election agent.
(8) Every payment of election expenses made pursuant to this Part shall, where the said payment exceeds £100, be supported by a voucher stating the particulars of the transaction to which it relates.
(9) The publisher of a newspaper, magazine or other periodical publication shall not publish any advertisement or notice in relation to a presidential election purporting to promote or oppose, directly or indirectly, the interests of a candidate at that election at the request of any person other than a candidate at the election or the election agent of such candidate, or a person authorised in writing by such candidate or agent, unless the person produces to the said publisher a certificate from the Public Offices Commission that that person has complied with the provisions of subsection (6) in relation to that election.
(10) This section shall not be construed to prevent or restrict the lawful publication of any matter in relation to a presidential election in a newspaper or other publication or the broadcast of such matter by radio or television or the lawful expression of opinion on any matter of public interest by any person.