Via Buzzfeed comes the list of 25 political party names that the Electoral Commission has rejected since 2010, meaning that the party in question has had to pick a different name to be its official name and to be on ballot papers:*
Note the acronym rejected for being too long. That is because the Electoral Commission’s view is that each letter in an acronym counts as a word – something I remember debating with them when I used to be work at Liberal Democrat HQ, dealing with election law matters amongst other things. I decided it wasn’t worth running up legal costs to argue over that one though it was quite fun speculating how to argue over punctuation…
Some of the rulings are rather harsh. For example, “Independent Libertarians” are arguably differentiated from the “Libertarians” by the use of the first word. But it’s best in cases of doubt to err on the side of forcing people to choose more distinctive names because in the end being able to work out which party is which on a ballot paper is vital for many voters.
* Political parties can also register a set of descriptions, one of which can be used on the ballot paper in place of its official name. They too have to pass rules about not being confusing with others.