The Electoral Commission have today released a report on progress and preparations for the upcoming EU referendum on June 23rd. This follows Stuart’s recent speech in Parliament on the timing of the referendum, in which he said:
“I know my constituents, and I know that they are more than capable of separating those issues and campaigns [Council elections and EU referendum], particularly because they will be at least six weeks apart. Last May, they were able to distinguish between electing a Member of Parliament, their local councillor and their parish councillor, all on the same day. My constituents knew that each candidate would hold a different office, and they fully understood that difference.
“Those who call for a delay because people will be confused assume that they are thinking only about the next election and the next referendum. I envy such people; my constituents have got lives to get on with and other things to think about. They are not obsessed with the referendum, as we may be. Our constituents are going to be able to make a decision on what they want their future relationship with Europe to be, and if the period was prolonged, I fear that would switch many people off”.
The Electoral Commission today agreed with Stuart’s assessment, saying:
“We are aware that strong views have been expressed regarding the proximity of the referendum to other scheduled elections. We are satisfied from an administrative and campaigner regulation perspective, however, that the proposed date of the referendum on 23 June does not pose a significant risk to a well-run referendum, and we have been able to mitigate as far as possible any foreseeable risks.”
Speaking more widely about the referendum, Stuart has said:
“While I am yet to decide on how I will vote in the referendum, I again want to emphasise that my vote is no more significant, and carries equal weight, to that of my constituents. I have already been contacted by many constituents expressing their views on our membership, and I look forward to hearing more from them at the public meetings I plan to hold on this. However, I will not be actively campaigning for either side after I have made my decision on how to vote because it is now the turn of my constituents to have their say.”
Download the Electoral Commission's report via the below link:
|Electoral Commission Report||318.03 KB|