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FAQ's

Q. What is the Election Period?

A. This is the period during which the special due impartiality rules [Section 6 of the Code] governing election and referendum reporting apply. In the case of a General Election, the period commences with the announcement of the dissolution of parliament and ends with the close of the poll on polling day.

Q. What is a constituency/electoral area report or discussion?

A. This is where an electoral candidate takes part in a report or discussion about his/her particular constituency or electoral area.

Q. Do all candidates within that constituency/electoral area have to agree to take part in the report or discussion?

A. No, but candidates from each of the major political parties and from other parties who have previous or current significant electoral support must be invited to take part. If they refuse or are unable to take part, the report or discussion can still go ahead, provided a list of all the candidates standing in that constituency or electoral area - full name of the candidate and party - is conveyed in sound and/or vision at the end of the report or discussion.

Q. Can a candidate take part in a non-political programme during the election period?

A. Appearances (except as a presenter or interviewer) by candidates in non-political programmes planned or scheduled before the election period can continue but new appearances should not be arranged and broadcast during this period.

Q. Do special rules apply to Party Election and Party Political Broadcasts?

A. Yes. Party Election and Party Political Broadcasts are covered under separate rules - the Ofcom 'Rules on Party Political and Referendum Broadcasts'. These rules cover the allocation, duration and scheduling of such broadcasts. Whilst editorial control of such broadcasts rests with the political parties, broadcasters remain responsible for ensuring they comply with the Code. The political parties are also required to comply with the 'Guidelines for the Production of Party Election Broadcasts' drawn up by the broadcasters and designed to assist the parties in complying with the Code. These are available here.