The Electoral Commission

The independent body which oversees elections and regulates political finance in the UK

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Statement on Scottish independence referendum

Published: 25 Jan 2012

In response to today's publication of the Scottish Government's consultation on the independence referendum, Electoral Commissioner for Scotland, John McCormick, said:

" We welcome the opportunity to give full and careful consideration to the Scottish Government's proposals at this stage. Our priority is to ensure any referendum is well run, transparent and focused on voters and we will share our experience and expertise in running referendums when we respond to both parliaments and governments on their respective consultations."

The Commission has previously set out its principles for the conduct of referendums.  All referendums should be run in a way that engender confidence, are credible, transparent and open to scrutiny. To do this the following will be important:

  • A well-planned poll which is consistently and professionally delivered.
  • A clear process for the designation of campaigners and clear rules for those campaigners.
  • Transparency in relation to campaign expenditure and funding.
  • A comprehensive public awareness campaign so that voters know how to participate and what they are voting for.
  • A careful and independent assessment of the intelligibility of the referendum question.