We want to see a modern, efficient and secure electoral system, so that voting for all electors is as convenient and as straightforward as possible. In 2009 many electors are due to vote on two separate occasions within a space of four weeks, firstly in local council elections on
Accordingly, I am today publishing a consultation document inviting views on whether or not we should, subject to parliamentary approval, move the date of the English local elections from
In launching this consultation we have had regard to the experience in 2004 when local and European parliamentary elections were held on the same date. The turnout at those European elections was significantly higher than in previous years, up from 24 per cent. in 1999 to 38.5 per cent. We have also had regard to the Electoral Commission's conclusions in 2004 that the combination of the elections was an important factor in the improved turnout. It commented that before the next European parliamentary elections in 2009 further consideration would need to be given to the potential impact of the combination of elections.
In particular we are seeking views on:
whether the local elections in 2009 should be moved from
I have placed copies of the consultation document in the Library of the House and it is also available on the departmental website. The consultation period ends on