General Election 2024

Campaigning Guidance and Supporting People to Vote

With the announcement that a General Election will be held on 4 July 2024, it’s important to provide some guidance for organisations seeking to campaign or influence during the election. Some organisations may also want to help ensure people are registered to vote and know how to do so. We’ve summarised some helpful links in this short blog.

Campaigning & Influencing

While it’s fitting that organisations use the opportunity to speak up for the people they support and represent, you must stay compliant with the law if campaigning during an election. For organisations that are charities, Scottish charity law allows you to campaign if:

  • it is advancing your charitable purposes,
  • your governing document does not prevent the activity,
  • you are not advancing a political party, and
  • you can show you are acting in the charity’s interests.

Full guidance is available here at oscr.org.uk. You may find this guidance useful even if your organisation isn’t a charity.

For any organisation that is campaigning in the run-up to the election you should also consider the requirements under electoral law.  The Electoral Commission provide guidance here at electoralcommission.org.uk

Support Voter Engagement

We know that there are groups of people who are less likely to register to vote and know how to vote than others. 2024 will also be the first election in Scotland that will require Voter ID. 

The Poverty Alliance cited a recent report from IPPR which highlighted a growing turnout gap at elections, with those living on the lowest incomes least likely to vote. The Electoral Commission estimates that 8 million eligible voters will miss out because they are not properly registered. 4 million eligible voters will miss out because they don’t have Photo ID. And 14 million eligible voters won’t see the point of turning out to vote.

The research shows you are at greater risk of not being able to participate in the democratic process if you are young, a non-UK national, rent your home, have moved recently, live in an economically-disadvantaged community, or are from an ethnic minority.

How can you help?

We know that the third sector is already a champion of democratic participation and with little time to register, we want to ensure that everyone who is eligible to vote, has that opportunity and has the necessary support to do so, including having appropriate photo ID.

If your organisation wants to help support people to vote, you can find helpful resources at:

The timing of the General Elections on 4 July means that many people in Scotland may already have plans to be abroad as this sits within Scottish school holidays. If you would like to share advice on how to secure a postal vote, the Electoral Commission shares guidance and links to the appropriate application form here – application to vote by post in Scotland at electoralcommission.org.uk. Or visit gov.uk/apply-postal-vote

The deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm on 19 June 2024.

The link to register to vote is on the UK Government website hereRegister to vote www.gov.uk

The deadline to register to vote for the UK Parliamentary general election is Tuesday 18 June.


GCVS is holding a Hustings. Hear from political candidates and join us to discuss issues directly affecting the third sector.

Join us on Thursday 20 June at 4.30pm

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