Delyn MP David Hanson is calling on constituents to give their views on whether elections should be moved to weekends. A consultation has been launched by the Government as part of efforts to boost engagement.
Scrapping the traditional Thursday vote is one option under consideration as part of the Government’s programme of constitutional renewal, which seeks to forge a new relationship between the citizen and the state.
The consultation debates moving the day of elections for general, local and European elections from Thursdays to the weekend and considers:
* whether changing election day to the weekend, and other measures to increase convenience, encourage non-voters to vote
* the practical issues, including the cost, of a move to weekend voting
* religious concerns
* whether the change of day would affect the security of elections
* the relationship between postal and online voting and turnout
* whether other ways of voting (e.g. remote, postal, internet and advance voting) are acceptable where weekend voting is difficult for religious or other reasons
* the benefits and drawbacks of online voting
* other ways of increasing the legitimacy of elections.
The election day consultation will run for 12 weeks. Responses will lead to a citizens’ summit later this year, at which people will be invited to consider the issue and make a recommendation to the Government on whether election day should be moved. The Government will then consider the summit’s recommendation along with the evidence gathered from the written consultation.
David Hanson said:
“I would welcome feedback on this proposal. We all want to see a greater turnout at elections and this is just one of a number of proposals being considered to help boost participation.
“I will feed people’s comments into the consultation. Please contact me in the usual ways. Write to David Hanson MP, House of Commons, London SW1A OAA, email:hansond(at)parliament.uk or phone: 01352 763159.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
1. The election day consultation paper can be seen at:
2. The Written Ministerial Statement can be seen at:
3. The Governance of Britain Green Paper, published in July 2007, can be seen at: