UK Election Law: A Critical Examination, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

UK Election Law

A Critical Examination, 1st Edition

By Bob Watt


264 pages

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Paperback: 9781859419168
pub: 2006-01-09
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This book contains a critical analysis of the law and politics governing the conduct of statutory elections in the United Kingdom.

The author argues that elections have now become a marketplace for 'buying' the most seemingly attractive political party on offer into power, rather than an expression of democratic self-government. Thematically arranged, he considers a number of issues dating from before the Civil War through nineteenth century reforms to the foundation of the Electoral Commission and up to their paper 'Securing the Vote' published in 2005. The book

Framing the debate for the Electoral Administration Bill 2005, it contains, amongst other legal analysis, analyses leading cases, including:

  • Sanders v Chichester
  • R v Jones
  • R v Whicher; ex parte Mainwaring
  • In re Fermanagh and South Tyrone.

The author presents an argument for a radical reappraisal of election law which involves, rather than excludes the self-governing citizenry, suggesting that election law, perhaps above all other kinds of law, should be the subject of vigorous and open public debate.


'His(Watt's) assessment is insightful, and there is a great deal here that should be of interest to scholars of election law, inside and outside the UK.' - The Law and Politics Book Review, Vol.16 No.6

'Watt is a persuasive advocate and his book offers a valuable guide to recent developments in British election law.' - Lori Ringhand, University of Kentucky College of Law, Lexington, KY USA

Table of Contents

Introduction. The Right to Vote. The Mechanism of Voting. Nomination of a Candidate. Election Expenses. Challenging the Result of an Election. The Problem of Marketized Politics and a Possible Solution

About the Series

Contemporary Issues in Public Policy

This series of books is intended to offer accessible, informed and well-evidenced analyses of topical policy issues - from the national health through women’s work to central issues of crime and criminal justice - as a counterweight to the manner in which they tend to be presented in political and public debates. The mass media can be sensationalizing and overly-simple. Many observers and commentators are too engaged politically or professionally to take a dispassionate stand. By contrast, what is offered here is considered expert commentary laid out in a literate and helpful manner. Moreover, in the wake of globalization, the revolution in information technology and new forms of regulation and audit, an immense proliferation of data has occurred which can swamp all but the most experienced and duly skeptical analyst. Providing an excellent core for teaching in social policy, criminology, politics and the sociology of contemporary Britain, the series is also intended for politicians, policy-makers, journalists and other concerned people who wish to know more about the world they live in today.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General