Representation of the People Act 1949

Citation1949 c. 68
JurisdictionUK Non-devolved


Representation of the People Act , 1949

(12, 13 & 14 Geo. 6.) CHAPTER 68

An Act to consolidate certain enactments relating to parliamentary and local government elections, corrupt and illegal practices and election petitions.

[24th November 1949]

B e it enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Parliamentary and Local Government Franchise and its Exercise

Part I

Parliamentary and Local Government Franchise and its Exercise

Parliamentary and local government franchise

Parliamentary and local government franchise

S-1 Parliamentary electors.

1 Parliamentary electors.

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (2) of this section, the persons entitled to vote as electors at a parliamentary election in any constituency shall be those resident there on the qualifying date who, on that date and on the date of the poll, are of full age and not subject to any legal incapacity to vote and either British subjects or citizens of the Republic of Ireland:

Provided that a person shall not be entitled to vote as an elector in any constituency unless registered there in the register of parliamentary electors to be used at the election nor, at a general election, to vote as an elector in more than one constituency.

(2) A person shall not be entitled to vote as an elector at a parliamentary election in any constituency in Northern Ireland unless he was resident in Northern Ireland during the whole of the period of three months ending on the qualifying date for that election:

Provided that this subsection shall not have effect with respect to the autumn register published in the year nineteen hundred and forty-nine or any election for which that register is to be used.

(3) A person shall not vote as elector more than once in the same constituency at any parliamentary election.

S-2 Local government electors.

2 Local government electors.

(1) The persons entitled to vote as electors at a local government election in any electoral area shall be those who—

( a ) on the qualifying date either—

(i) are resident in the area; or

(ii) under the provisions of section five of this Act have a non-resident qualification therein; and

( b ) are in either case on that date and on the date of the poll, of full age and not subject to any legal incapacity to vote and either British subjects or citizens of the Republic of Ireland:

Provided that a person shall not be entitled to vote as an elector in any electoral area, unless registered there in the register of local government electors to be used at the election nor, at an ordinary election for any local government area which is not a single electoral area, to vote as an elector in more than one electoral area.

(2) A person shall not vote as elector more than once in the same electoral area at any local government election.

S-3 Qualifying date.

3 Qualifying date.

The qualifying date both for parliamentary and for local government elections shall be determined in accordance with the provisions of the First Schedule to this Act.

S-4 Residence.

4 Residence.

(1) For the purposes of sections one and two of this Act, any question as to a person's residence on the qualifying date for an election shall be determined in accordance with the general principles formerly applied in determining questions arising under the Representation of the People Act, 1918, as to a person's residence on a particular day of the qualifying period, and in particular regard shall be had to the purpose and other circumstances, as well as to the fact, of his presence at or absence from the address in question.

(2) Without prejudice to the said general principles, a person's residence is a dwelling house shall not be deemed for the purposes of the said sections one and two to have been interrupted—

( a ) by reason of that person's absence in the performance of any duty arising from or incidental to any office, service or employment held or undertaken by him, if he intends to resume actual residence within six months of giving it up and will not be prevented by the performance of the duty aforesaid; or

( b ) by reason of permission being given by letting or otherwise for its occupation furnished by some other person—

(i) if the permission is given in the expectation that throughout the period for which it is given the person giving it or his wife or her husband will be absent in the performance of any such duty as aforesaid; or

(ii) if the first mentioned person intends to resume actual residence within nine weeks of giving it up and will not be prevented by the permission given as aforesaid.

(3) A person who is a patient in any establishment maintained wholly or mainly for the reception and treatment of persons suffering from mental illness or mental defectiveness, or who is detained in legal custody at any place, shall not by reason thereof be treated for the purposes aforesaid as resident there.

(4) For the purposes of subsection (2) of section one of this Act, a person ceasing to have a service qualification shall be treated as if he were resident in Northern Ireland during the period during which he had a service qualification.

S-5 Non-resident qualification for local government electors.

5 Non-resident qualification for local government electors.

(1) A person shall be deemed for the purposes of section two of this Act to have a non-resident qualification—

( a ) in an electoral area in England or Wales if he is occupying as owner or tenant any rateable land or premises therein of the yearly value of not less than ten pounds;

( b ) in an electoral area in Scotland if he is the owner, or occupier as tenant, of any lands and heritages within the area which are of the yearly value of not less than ten pounds and in respect of which rates are payable.

(2) A person's occupation of a dwelling house shall not be deemed to be interrupted by reason only of permission being given by letting or otherwise for its occupation furnished by some other person, if the first mentioned person intends to resume actual occupation within nine weeks of giving it up and will not be prevented by the permission given as aforesaid.

(3) The yearly value of any land or premises in England or Wales shall—

( a ) if the gross value thereof for rating purposes appears in the valuation list for the time being in force, be taken to be the gross value as so appearing, any necessary apportionment of that value being made by the registration officer;

( b ) if no gross value thereof for rating purposes appears in the valuation list, but the value thereof is assessed under Schedule A of the Income Tax Act, 1918, be taken to be the gross annual value of the land or premises for income tax purposes, any necessary apportionment of that value being made by the registration officer; and

( c ) in any other case, be taken to be the amount which would, in the opinion of the registration officer, have been the gross value for rating purposes of the land or premises under the enactments relating to rating and valuation in force on the sixth day of February, nineteen hundred and eighteen.

(4) In the case of a joint occupation of any land or premises in an electoral area in England or Wales, each of the joint occupiers shall be treated as occupying land or premises therein of the yearly value of not less than ten pounds, if the aggregate yearly value of the land or premises is not less than the amount produced by multiplying ten pounds by the number of joint occupiers.

(5) In England and Wales,—

( a ) the expression ‘tenant’—

(i) shall not include a tenant of a dwelling house let to him furnished for a term of less than nine weeks, or of any room or rooms let to him furnished and occupied by him as a lodger; but

(ii) shall include a tenant of a dwelling house holding over after notice to quit has been given and possession has been demanded by the landlord; and

( b ) the expression ‘rateable’ means liable for the time being to be rated to the general rate or to any rate expressed by the Act creating it to be in the nature of a general rate, except that in relation to the City of London it means liable for the time being to be rated to the poor rate.

(6) Where, in Scotland, any lands and heritages are owned or occupied by two or more persons jointly and the aggregate yearly value of such lands and heritages is not less than the amount produced by multiplying ten pounds by the number of owners or occupiers as the case may be, each of them shall be treated as owning or occupying, as the case may be, lands and heritages of the yearly value of ten pounds.

(7) In the application of this section to Scotland,—

( a ) the expression ‘owner’—

(i) shall include heir of entail in possession, liferenter and beneficiary entitled under any trust to the rents and profits of lands and heritages; and

(ii) shall not include the fiar of lands and heritages subject to a liferent, or tutor, curator, judicial factor, or commissioners;

and the expression ‘own’ shall be construed accordingly;

( b ) the expression ‘tenant’ shall not include a tenant—

(i) of a dwelling house let to him furnished for a term of less than nine weeks, or

(ii) of any room or rooms let to him furnished and occupied by him as a lodger;

( c ) the expression ‘lands and heritages’ shall have the like meaning as in the Lands Valuation (Scotland) Act, 1854; and

( d ) the expression ‘yearly value’ in relation to any lands and heritages shall mean in the case where the lands and heritages are separately entered in the valuation roll the gross annual value appearing therein, and in any other case the gross annual value which would in the opinion of the registration officer be entered in the valuation roll,...

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