British Politics Facts and FiguresParliament

RESOURCES : Information about Party Political Broadcasts

The briefing document published by the House of Commons Library.

Document (in .pdf format)


This document discusses the regulations and history surrounding party political broadcasts (PPBs) in the UK. PPBs are televised or radio broadcasts made by political parties, especially in the run-up to elections.

Key points covered in the document include:

  • Purpose of PPBs: PPBs are intended to offset the financial disparities between parties by providing free airtime to communicate their messages to the electorate.
  • Regulation: The allocation, length, and frequency of PPBs are regulated by Ofcom for commercial broadcasters and by the BBC Trust for the BBC.
  • Allocation Criteria: The allocation of PPBs is based on factors like past electoral support, the number of candidates standing, and the type of election.
  • Content Restrictions: PPBs must adhere to guidelines set out in the Ofcom Broadcasting Code and the BBC Editorial guidelines.
  • Ban on Political Advertising: The document also discusses the long-standing ban on political advertising in the UK and its compatibility with the European Convention on Human Rights.

The document provides a detailed overview of the rules and procedures governing PPBs, including the specific criteria for allocating broadcasts to different political parties. It also touches on the historical development of PPBs and the legal considerations surrounding the ban on political advertising.