The BBC's eligibility and allocation criteria for PEBs for the following elections on 5 May 2011 are as follows:
1. In England - Local Council elections
2. In Scotland - Scottish Parliamentary elections
3. In Wales - Welsh Assembly elections
4. In Northern Ireland – NI Assembly elections and local elections
Threshold Criteria for PEBs
To qualify for one PEB in the relevant nation, a political party must be registered with the Electoral Commission and satisfy the following criteria:
In England, a registered political party must stand candidates in a minimum of one sixth of the seats being contested in the election (approx. 1,550 candidates).
In Scotland, a registered political party must stand:
- a minimum of 4 candidates in each of the 8 regional lists; or
-candidates in a minimum of one sixth of the total seats being contested in the election (ie 22 constituency candidates)
In Wales, a registered political party must stand:
- a minimum of 4 candidates in each of the 5 regional lists; or
- candidates in a minimum of one sixth of the total seats being contested in the election (ie 10 constituency candidates)
In Northern Ireland, a registered political party must stand at least one candidate in a minimum of one sixth of the constituencies being contested in the Assembly election (ie 3 candidates in 3 different constituencies).
[No PEBs will be allocated for the local elections in Northern Ireland as they are occurring on the same day as the Assembly election.]
Criteria for Additional PEBs in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
A registered political party which meets the threshold criteria in the relevant nation may qualify for additional PEBs if it can demonstrate substantial levels of past and/or current electoral support in that nation.
BBC Services which broadcast PEBs
PEBs will be broadcast in the relevant nation on: BBC One and BBC Two, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio Nan Gaidheal (broadcast in Gaelic), BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru (broadcast in Welsh language) and BBC Radio Ulster.
As is required by section 11(3) of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, the BBC's draft criteria for the allocation of PEBs were sent to the Electoral Commission for comment.