The Wakefield Case XVII: 1874

The court considered who was an agent in election law: ‘By election law the doctrine of agency is carried further than in other cases. By the ordinary law of agency a person is not responsible for the acts of those whom he has not authorised, or even for acts done beyond the scope of the agent’s authority . . but he is not responsible for the acts which his alleged agents choose to do on their own behalf. But if that construction of agency were put upon acts done at an election, it would be almost impossible to prevent corruption. Accordingly, a wider scope has been given to the term ‘agency’ in election matters, and a candidate is responsible generally, you may say, for the deeds of those who to his knowledge for the purpose of promoting his election canvass and do such other acts as may tend to promote his election, provided the candidate or his authorised agents have reasonable knowledge that those persons are so acting with that object.’

(1874) 2 O’M and H 100
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedAehmed v Afzal and Another QBD 2-Apr-2008
The claimant candidate in a local government election challenged the election of his opponent as void since was alleged to have conducted a smear campaign.
Held: It was not for the defendant to have to prove the truth of what he said in a . .
CitedErlam and Others v Rahman and Another QBD 23-Apr-2015
The petitioners had alleged that the respondent, in his or his agent’s conduct of his campaign to be elected Mayor for Tower Hamlets in London in May 2014, had engaged in corrupt and illegal practices.
Held: The election was set aside for . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Leading Case

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.270363