2006 CHAPTER 33
An Act to make provision about registration of electors and the Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland; to amend the Northern Ireland Act 1998; to make provision about donations for political purposes; to extend the amnesty period for arms decommissioning in Northern Ireland; and to make miscellaneous amendments in the law relating to Northern Ireland.
[25th July 2006]
Be it enacted by the Queen'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:—
Modifications etc. (not altering text)
Registration of electors
1 Power to make provision about anonymous registration
(1)An Order in Council under section 84(1) of the 1998 Act (provision with respect to certain electoral matters relating to Northern Ireland) which contains a statement that it is made only for purposes corresponding, or similar, to those of section 10 of the Electoral Administration Act 2006 (c. 22) (anonymous registration) may make provision for Northern Ireland for such purposes in relation to—
(a)parliamentary elections, and
(b)elections in respect of the Northern Ireland Assembly, the European Parliament and district councils.
(2)An Order made by virtue of subsection (1) may, if it appears to Her Majesty necessary or expedient for the purposes of the Order—
(a)amend the 1983 Act, the 2006 Act, this Act or any other Act (whenever passed) or any Northern Ireland legislation (whenever passed or made);
(b)confer power to make provision with respect to any matter—
(i)which relates to anonymous registration, and
(ii)with respect to which, under the 1983 Act, provision may be made by regulations;
(c)make transitional provision.
(3)In this Part—
“the 1998 Act” means the Northern Ireland Act 1998 (c. 47), and
“the 1983 Act” means the Representation of the People Act 1983 (c. 2).
Periodical canvass etc.
2 Abolition of annual canvass
(1)Amend section 10 of the 1983 Act (maintenance of registers: annual canvass) as follows.
(2)In subsection (1), after “registration officer” insert “ in Great Britain”.
(3)After subsection (1) insert—
“(1A)The Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland must conduct a canvass in Northern Ireland in such years as are determined in accordance with section 10ZA.”
(4)In subsection (2)—
(a)for “for any year” substitute “ under subsection (1) or (1A)”, and
(b)for “that year” substitute “ the year in which it is conducted”.
(5)In the heading, for “annual canvass” substitute “ duty to conduct canvass”.
3 Timing of canvass
After section 10 of the 1983 Act insert—
“10ZA Northern Ireland: timing of canvass
(1)A canvass under section 10(1A) must be conducted in—
(a)the year 2010, unless the Secretary of State makes an order providing that the requirement in this paragraph does not apply;
(b)every tenth year following 2010.
(2)A canvass under section 10(1A) must be conducted in an intervening year if—
(a)on or before 15th April in that year, the Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland has made a recommendation in favour of a canvass being conducted in that year for the purpose of meeting the relevant registration objectives, and
(b)the Secretary of State, having considered the recommendation, has notified the Chief Electoral Officer that he is satisfied that the public interest requires a canvass to be conducted for that purpose.
(3)If no canvass under section 10(1A) is conducted before the end of 2015, a canvass must be conducted in 2016.
(4)“Intervening year” means a year other than—
(b)every tenth year following 2010, and
(c)if no canvass under section 10(1A) is conducted before the end of 2015, 2016.
(5)The Secretary of State may not make an order under subsection (1)(a) unless—
(a)on or before 15th April 2010, the Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland has made a recommendation against a canvass being conducted in the year 2010 for the purpose of meeting the relevant registration objectives, and
(b)the Secretary of State, having considered the recommendation, is satisfied that the public interest does not require a canvass to be conducted for that purpose.
(6)The power to make an order under subsection (1)(a) is exercisable by statutory instrument.
(7)No order is to be made under subsection (1)(a) unless a draft of the order has been laid before and approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.
(8)“Recommendation” means a written recommendation to the Secretary of State.”
Read the full Act below: