Electoral Commission designates ‘Yes Scotland’ and ‘Better Together’ as lead campaigners at Scottish Independence Referendum

Scottish Independence Referendum information

‘Yes Scotland’ and ‘Better Together’ have today (23 April 2014) been designated by the Electoral Commission as the two lead campaigners for each outcome at the Scottish Independence Referendum, which is due to be held on 18 September this year.

The two campaigners will now have access to specific benefits set out in law during the regulated ‘referendum period’ which begins on 30 May. These include a spending limit of £1.5 million, a free delivery of campaign material to voters, referendum broadcasts and the use of public rooms.

John McCormick, the Electoral Commissioner with responsibility for Scotland, said:

Following careful consideration of their applications, the Electoral Commission has designated ‘Yes Scotland’ and ‘Better Together’ as lead campaigners for each side at the Scottish referendum. Both campaigners set out clearly how they will ensure their campaigns will reach voters across Scotland and we are grateful for the constructive way that they each engaged with the Commission during the designation process.

Other individuals and organisations are also campaigning for either outcome in the referendum. Anyone intending to spend more than £10,000 during the referendum period is required to register with the Electoral Commission, which I would encourage them to do as soon as possible so that voters can see who they are and what they are campaigning for.

To see the papers relating to Electoral Commission’s decision and copies of the applications made by the two organisations, click here

Ends

For further information contact Sarah Mackie in the Electoral Commission press office:

Extra notes

Notes to editor

  • The Electoral Commission is an independent body set up by the UK Parliament. Our aim is integrity and public confidence in the UK’s democratic process. We regulate party and election finance and set standards for well-run elections and are responsible for the conduct and regulation of referendums held under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act (2000). The Scottish Independence Referendum Act 2013 gave the Commission a number of responsibilities for the Scottish referendum for which we report directly to the Scottish Parliament.
  • In order to become a designated lead campaigner, registered campaigners need to submit an application to the Electoral Commission that explains:
    • Details of organisations that support their application.
    • How they will ensure their campaign reaches voters across Scotland.
    • Their financial strategy.
    • How they plan to represent other campaigners seeking the same outcome.
  • There was only one applicant for either outcome. At the Electoral Commission’s Board meeting held on 23 April 2014, it was decided that since both organisations met the statutory test set out in legislation in order to become designated lead campaigners, it was not necessary to go beyond this and assess the extent to which the applications exceeded that test.
  • The referendum campaign spending limits and rules apply from 30 May 2014 through to and including 18 September, the day of the referendum. For more information about the Electoral Commission’s role at the Scottish Independence Referendum see our Scottish Referendum Media Handbook (PDF)