Are there any laws or precedents for factually incorrect claims made during an election campaign by politicians / reporters? Could a party or individual be fined or imprisoned, or the vote voided?

I'm not asking about misleading or exaggerated claims (since those are obviously a grey area and, sadly, fully expected by the voting public), but assertions which are demonstrably false or something which the person later admits was a lie.

This is inspired by the increasingly famous results-day admission that part of a campaign in the UK's EU referendum was "a mistake" (the numbers used were impossible), so I'm primarily interested in the UK, but also in how it compares with other countries.

  • 3
    Ahah no. An election campaign is always full of lies, that has always been the case :p
    – Gautier C
    Jun 25, 2016 at 22:42

1 Answer 1


Anti-libel laws such as the Representation of People Act make it illegal to make false claims about a candidate. However, unless someone commits perjury under an oath, it is not illegal to spread false information. This is why the people voting must take responsibility to look at the facts themselves and check what politicians and media say.

  • 3
    While this answer is likely correct, it could use references
    – user4012
    Jun 26, 2016 at 0:20

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