General Election

Electoral Commission Committee written question – answered on 25th January 2010.

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Photo of Stewart Jackson Stewart Jackson Shadow Minister (Communities and Local Government)

To ask the hon. Member for South-West Devon, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission what assessment the Electoral Commission has made of the merits of holding a national referendum on the same day as a general election.

Photo of Gary Streeter Gary Streeter Conservative, South West Devon

The Electoral Commission informs me that it is for Parliament to decide the date when a national referendum should be held.

However, if asked for advice on a proposal to combine a referendum with an election, the Commission would consider the facts relating to that specific combination, looking at what the benefits or drawbacks to the voter would be. Relevant factors would include whether any significant change in the electoral process was being applied for the first time and the likely increase in turnout resulting from combination. The Commission's priority is that any combined event should be well run and easy for voters to understand and participate in.

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