Revealed: the AV referendum question

The wording of the question that voters will be asked in next May’s AV referendum has been published:

Do you want the United Kingdom to adopt the ‘alternative vote’ system instead of the current ‘first past the post’ system for electing Members of Parliament to the House of Commons?

The wording of the question is contained in the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill, published last week. (The question will also be made available in Welsh.) The Electoral Commission is statutorily required to consider the intelligibility of the question, before reporting back to Parliament, who will consider the comments and have the final say after Recess.

The Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill will also reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600 and establish boundary reviews to create more equal-sized constituencies.

The Fixed Term Parliaments Bill, which was introduced on the same day, provides for general elections to occur every five years on the first Thursday in May, removing the power of the Prime Minister to call an election without Parliament’s consent.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said,

With the introduction of these Bills, fundamental reform of our politics is finally on the way.

The Coalition Government is determined to put power where it belongs – with people. You will decide how you want to elect your MPs. By making constituencies more equal in size, the value of your vote will no longer depend on where you live, and with fewer MPs the cost of politics will be cut. And, by setting the date that parliament will dissolve, our Prime Minister is giving up the right to pick and choose the date of the next General Election – that’s a true first in British politics.

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This entry was posted in Election law.
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