Alternative Vote: Referendums

Deputy Prime Minister written question – answered on 2nd December 2010.

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Photo of Tom Greatrex Tom Greatrex Shadow Minister (Scotland)

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether he plans to put in place arrangements to take account of circumstances in which a local government by-election takes place on the same day as elections to the Scottish Parliament and the proposed referendum on the alternative vote.

Photo of Mark Harper Mark Harper The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office

Clause 4 of the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill ("PVSC Bill") provides that the referendum on the voting system will be combined with the following polls which are scheduled to take place on 5 May:

Elections to the Welsh Assembly

Elections to the Scottish Parliament

Elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly

Local elections in England

Local elections in Northern Ireland

Mayoral elections (in four local authorities in England (Bedford, Middlesbrough, Mansfield and Torbay))

Parish elections in England

In addition, we are aware that it is likely that there will be some local mayoral referendums in England on 5 May which will be run on the same boundaries as the referendum on the voting system and local elections. We have included provisions in the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill to allow for these polls to also be combined with the referendum.

Any other unscheduled polls, for example a local government by-election in Scotland, can still take place on 5 May but would not be combined with any of the aforementioned polls. In effect, this would mean that separate polling stations would be required for the poll and that some other elements such as notices and forms would not be combined. Since such polls will be run on separate boundaries this will avoid practical difficulties for electoral administrators.

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