The right to free and fair elections explained in 2 minutes!

[Text on screen]: The Right to Free and Fair Elections. Protocol 1, Article 3 of the Human Rights Act.

Our right to vote is hard won. It lays the foundation for a free and fair society.

What does the Human Rights Act officially say?

“Hold free elections at reasonable intervals by secret ballot under conditioned which will ensure the free expression of the opinion of the people.”

But what exactly does it mean?

Basically, we have a right to vote in regular, fair elections and have a say in the choice of the government and Parliament.

Protocol 1, Article 3 also gives us the right to stand for election if we want.

But where does it come from?

Almost 800 years ago the Freedom of Election Act of 1275 guaranteed free and fair elections. The Bill of Rights in 1689 then guaranteed free parliamentary elections.

The Equal Franchise Act of 1928 gave women over 21 the right to vote.

Here are three key examples of what it does for us:

1. We have the right to vote and stand for election. (Mathieu-Mohin case,1987)
2. There can’t be automatic blanket bans of groups of people voting (Hirst case 2005)
3. States are allowed to regulate elections (Shindler case,2013)

The right to vote is there for everyone, and should be exercised by all to ensure a fair society.

Learn more about your rights at

The right to free and fair elections explained in 2 minutes!

Published on 22 Feb 2022

This video is about Protocol 1, Article 3 of the Human Rights Act (HRA) which is the right to free and fair elections. This right means we should have access to free and fair elections and have our privacy respected when we vote.

The HRA is central to ensuring we can all live a safe and secure life. It sets out a range of principles that the government, and public bodies, must follow and uphold for all of us. If they fail to follow them, we have the ability to take our case to a UK court and, if our rights have been violated, we may be fairly compensated. The Human Rights Act has given us the ability to stand up to those in power.

But the Human Rights Act is under threat.

The government has announced plans to reform the HRA into a new British Bill of Rights, which lawyers and campaigners are concerned will shift more power in favour of the government, and weaken the protections we have available to us. We need to ensure that human rights are accessible and available for everyone, but we may risk losing those protections if the government’s reform comes into effect.

This video is part of a wider series showcasing the protections the HRA provides us and why they are so important in our daily lives. We’ve also curated a week of written content surrounding the proposed reform of the HRA so that you can stay informed and up to date on the latest developments.

Want to learn more? Head on over to our spotlight to read more on the proposals to the HRA. You can find more videos in this HRA series in our YouTube playlist. 

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