The Scottish Parliament (Elections etc.) Order 2015

Publication Date:January 01, 2015

2015No. 425



The Scottish Parliament (Elections etc.) Order 2015


The Scottish Ministers make the following Order in exercise of the powers conferred by sections 12(1) and 113(2), (4) and (5) of the Scotland Act 1998( 1) and all other powers enabling them to do so.

In accordance with section 12(7) of that Act( 2) they have consulted the Secretary of State.

In accordance with section 7(1) and (2)(g) of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000( 3) they have consulted the Electoral Commission.

In accordance with section 115 of, and Schedule 7 to, the Scotland Act 1998( 4), a draft of this Order has been laid before, and approved by resolution of, the Scottish Parliament.



Citation, commencement and transitional provision

1.-(1) This Order may be cited as the Scottish Parliament (Elections etc.) Order 2015 and comes into force on the day after the day on which it is made.

(2) This Order has no effect for the purposes of any election for which the date of poll is on or before 4th April 2016.


2.-(1) In this Order, except where the context otherwise requires-

"the 1983 Act" means the Representation of the People Act 1983( 5);

"the 1998 Act" means the Scotland Act 1998( 6);

"the 2000 Act" means the Representation of the People Act 2000( 7);

"the 2000 Political Parties Act" means the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000( 8);

"the 2001 Regulations" means the Representation of the People (Scotland) Regulations 2001( 9);

"the 2006 Act" means the Electoral Administration Act 2006( 10);

"absent voter" means an elector who is entitled to vote by proxy or an elector or proxy who is entitled to vote by post;

"anonymous entry", in relation to the register of electors, shall be construed in accordance with section 9B of the 1983 Act( 11) (anonymous registration);

"appropriate returning officer" means-

(a) in relation to a candidate for return as a constituency member (or to an election agent or sub-agent for such a candidate), the CRO for that constituency; and(b) in relation to an individual candidate for return as a regional member or to a registered party submitting a regional list for a particular region (or to an election agent or sub-agent for such a candidate or such a registered party), the RRO for that region;

"ballot paper", in relation to a general election for membership of the Scottish Parliament, shall be construed as a reference to both the constituency ballot paper and the regional ballot paper;

"citizen of the Union" shall be construed in accordance with article 9 of the Treaty on European Union( 12), and "relevant citizen of the Union" means such a citizen who is not a commonwealth citizen or a citizen of the Republic of Ireland;

"CRO" means the officer who, in accordance with article 14, is the constituency returning officer for a Scottish parliamentary election in a constituency;

"disability", in relation to doing a thing, includes a short term inability to do it;

"entitlement as an elector to an absent vote" shall be construed in accordance with article 7(8);

"ERO" means an electoral registration officer within the meaning of the 1983 Act( 13);

"list of proxies" means the list of persons kept in pursuance of article 9(5)(b);

"local authority" means a council constituted under section 2 of the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994( 14);

"nominating officer" means the person registered under the 2000 Political Parties Act as the officer with responsibility for the matters referred to in section 24(3) of that Act in respect of a registered party;

"of voting age" means 16 years of age or over;

"ordinary local government election" means an ordinary election of councillors for local government areas;

"polling register" means-

(a) the document provided by an ERO under paragraph 1(3) of Schedule 1 including any notices issued under sections 13AB(2), or 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act( 15) (alteration of registers) after that document was produced; or(b) where no such document has been provided, the register of electors, including copies of any notices issued under sections 13A(2), 13AB(2), or 13B(3), (3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act( 16) (alteration of registers) in respect of alterations to the register; and, where a notice has been so issued, any reference to an entry, name or number stated in the polling register is to be taken to be a reference to the entry, name or number stated in that notice;

"postal ballot box" means the ballot box referred to in paragraph 17(1)(b) of Schedule 4;

"the postal voters list" means the list of persons kept in pursuance of article 9(5)(a), showing persons whose applications to vote by post have been granted;

"the proxy postal voters list" means the list of persons kept in pursuance of article 11(7);

"record of anonymous entries" means the record prepared in pursuance of regulations made by virtue of paragraph 8A of Schedule 2 to the 1983 Act( 17);

"RRO" means a regional returning officer for the purposes of the 1998 Act( 18);

"register of electors" means the register of local government electors maintained under section 9(1)(b) of the 1983 Act;

"registered emblem" means an emblem registered by a political party under section 29(2) of the 2000 Political Parties Act( 19);

"registered party" means a party registered under section 28(4) of the 2000 Political Parties Act( 20);

"Scottish parliamentary election" means an election for membership of the Scottish Parliament and "Scottish parliamentary general election" shall be construed accordingly;

"Scottish Parliamentary Election Rules" means the rules set out in Schedule 2; and

"service voter" means a person who has made a service declaration in accordance with section 15 of the 1983 Act( 21) and is registered or entitled to be registered in pursuance of it;

"universal postal service provider" means a universal service provider within the meaning of Part 3 of the Postal Services Act 2011( 22) (regulation of postal services).

(2) For the purposes of this Order, a person shall be deemed not to have attained a given age until commencement of the relevant anniversary of the day of his or her birth.



Supply of electoral registers

3. Schedule 1 (which makes provision in connection with supply of electoral registers) has effect.

Absent voting appeals

4.-(1) An appeal lies to the sheriff from any decision under this Order of the ERO disallowing a person's application to vote-

(a) by proxy or by post as elector; or(b) by post as proxy,

in any case where the application is not made for a particular Scottish parliamentary election only.

(2) An appeal lies on any point of law from any decision of the sheriff under this article to the court of three judges constituted under section 57(2) of the 1983 Act (Registration Appeal Court) ("the registration appeal court").

(3) An appeal made by virtue of this article which is pending when notice of an election is given shall not prejudice the operation as respects that election of the decision appealed against, and anything done in pursuance of the decision shall be as good as if no such appeal had been brought and shall not be affected by the decision of the appeal.

(4) The sheriff clerk (or clerk to the registration appeal court) shall send to the ERO, by recorded delivery, notice of the decision of the sheriff (or of the registration appeal court) on any appeal by virtue of this article, and the ERO must make such alterations in the-

(a) record kept under article 8(4) (absent voters); or(b) record kept under article 11(5) (proxy voters),

as may be required to give effect to the decision.

(5) Where, as a result of the decision on an appeal under this article, an alteration in the register of electors is made which takes effect under this article on or before the date of the poll for an election, paragraph (3) does not apply to that appeal as respects that election.

Polling districts and places at elections

5.-(1) Every constituency shall be divided into polling districts and, subject to the provisions of this article, there shall be a polling place designated for each polling district.

(2) The polling districts and polling places designated under this article shall be the same as those used or designated for parliamentary elections under sections 18A and 18B of the 1983 Act( 23) (polling districts and polling places), except where it appears to the local authority (or local authorities) for the area of that polling district or location of that polling place that special circumstances make it desirable for some other polling district or polling place to be designated for the purpose of a Scottish parliamentary election.

(3) An election shall not be questioned by reason of-

(a) any non-compliance with the provisions of this article; or(b) any informality relating to polling districts or polling places.

Rules for Scottish parliamentary elections

6.-(1) The proceedings at Scottish parliamentary elections (including the return of members) shall be conducted in accordance with the Scottish Parliamentary Election Rules.

(2) It is the general duty of every CRO and RRO at a Scottish parliamentary election to do all such acts and things as may be necessary for effectually conducting the election in the manner provided by those Rules.

(3) No Scottish parliamentary election shall be declared invalid by reason of any act or omission by a CRO, RRO or any other person in breach of that person's official duty in connection with the election or otherwise of those Rules if it appears to the tribunal having cognisance of the question that-

(a) the election was so conducted as to be substantially in accordance with the law as to Scottish parliamentary elections; and(b) the act or omission did not affect the result.

(4) Schedule 2 (Scottish Parliamentary Election Rules) has effect.

(5) Schedule 8 (access to marked...

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