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Encyclopedia > Referendums in the United Kingdom
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Referendums (or referenda) are only occasionally held by the government of the United Kingdom. Nine referendums have been held so far (excluding referenda held under the Local Government Act 1972 - see below), the first in 1973; only one of these covered the whole UK. There is at least one planned for the future. Although few referendums have been held at national or regional level, there have been numerous referendums at local level to determine whether there is support for an elected mayor. A referendum (plural: referendums or referenda) or plebiscite is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal. ... 1973 (MCMLXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1973 calendar). ...

Contents


Status of referendums

Referendums have traditionally been rare in the UK. Major referendums have always been on constitutionally related issues. Before Tony Blair's Labour government came to power in 1997, only four referendums had been held. The Right Honourable Anthony Charles Lynton Blair (born 6 May 1953) is the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service. ... The Labour Party has since its formation in the early 20th century been the principal left wing political party of the United Kingdom (see British politics). ... 1997 (MCMXCVII in Roman) is a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


There are two types of referendum that have been held in the UK, pre-legislative (held before proposed legislation is passed) and post-legislative (held after legislation) is passed. Referendums are not legally binding, so legally the government can ignore the results; for example even if the result of a pre-legislative referendum was a majority of ‘No' for a proposed law, Parliament could pass it anyway. The Houses of Parliament, seen over Westminster Bridge The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative institution in the United Kingdom and British overseas territories (it alone has parliamentary sovereignty). ...


Legally, Parliament at any point in future could reverse legislation approved by referendums because the concept of parliamentary sovereignty means no Parliament can prevent a future Parliament from amending/repealing legislation. However, it is unlikely many governments would attempt to reverse legislation approved by referendums as it would probably be controversial and potentially damaging to their popularity. Parliamentary sovereignty, parliamentary supremacy, or legislative supremacy is a concept in constitutional law that applies to some parliamentary democracies. ...


Finally, under the 1972 Local Government Act, there is a little-known provision under which non-binding local referenda on any issue can be called by small groups of voters. Six local voters may call a meeting, and if ten voters or a third of the meeting (whichever is smaller) agree, the council must carry out a referendum in 14 - 25 days. The referendum is merely advisory, but if there is a substantial majority and the results well-publicised it may be influential. [1]


Planned referendums

Since 1997, the Labour government has held five referendums on devolution, four of which received a yes majority. One concerning the treaty establishing a constitution for Europe is almost certain not to happen given the French and Dutch rejections of the treaty. Another, on the Euro, depends on the government being willing to recommend it. The constitutional treaty as signed in Rome on 29 October 2004 The Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe (TCE), commonly referred to as the European Constitution, is an international treaty intended to create a constitution for the European Union. ... The euro (plural euro, symbol: €; banking code: EUR) is the official currency of the European Union and single currency for over 300 million Europeans in the following twelve European Union member states: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain; collectively also known as...


The Labour manifesto for the 1997 general election stated 'We are committed to a referendum on the voting system for the House of Commons.' [2] Despite the research carried out by the Jenkins Commission in 1998 suggesting an AV+ system for Westminster elections, the 2001 manifesto did not make such a promise, and it is unlikely such a referendum will be held in the foreseeable future. The Labour Party has since its formation in the early 20th century been the principal left wing political party of the United Kingdom (see British politics). ... A manifesto is a public declaration of principles and intentions, often political in nature. ... The UK general election, 1997 was held on 1 May 1997. ... British House of Commons Canadian House of Commons In some bicameral parliaments of a Westminster System, the House of Commons has historically been the name of the elected lower house. ... The Independent Commission on the Voting System, popularly known as the Jenkins Commission after its chairman Roy Jenkins, was a commission into possible reform of the United Kingdom electoral system. ... 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year of the Ocean. ...


If the Government of Wales Bill becomes law, there will be a referendum in Wales asking the people whether the National Assembly for Wales should be given greater law making powers. The Government of Wales Bill is a bill that has been introduced into the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. ... For an explanation of often confusing terms such as Great Britain, Britain, United Kingdom and England, see British Isles (terminology). ... The National Assembly for Wales (or NAfW) (Welsh: Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru) is a devolved assembly (not a full legislature) with power to make regulations in Wales, and also is responsible for most UK government departments in Wales. ...


Organisation

Until 2000, there was no body to regulate referendums. In 2000, the government set out a framework for the running of future referendums when the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 or PPERA was passed, given the Electoral Commission responsibility for running referendums. This article is about the year 2000. ... This article is about the year 2000. ... The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 is an Act of Parliament that sets out how political parties, elections and referendums are to be regulated in the United Kingdom. ... The Electoral Commission is a non-ministerial government department with powers in the United Kingdom, which was created by an Act of Parliament, the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (2000 c. ...


List of major referendums

There are some potential referendums : The Northern Ireland referendum of 1973 was a referendum held in Northern Ireland only on March 8, 1973 on whether Northern Ireland should remain part of the United Kingdom or join with the Republic of Ireland to form a United Ireland. ... Dieu et mon droit (Royal motto) (French for God and my right)2 Northern Irelands location within the UK Main language English Other recognised languages Irish, Ulster Scots Capital and largest city Belfast First Minister Office suspended Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Peter Hain MP Area  - Total Ranked... The United Kingdom referendum of 1975 was a postlegislative referendum held on 5 June 1975 in the whole of the UK over whether there was support for the UK to stay in the European Economic Community, which the UK had entered in 1973, under the Conservative government of Edward Heath. ... The European Community (EC), most important of three European Communities, was originally founded on March 25, 1957 by the signing of the Treaty of Rome under the name of European Economic Community. ... The Scotland referendum of 1979 was a post-legislative referendum held in Scotland only, over whether there was support for Scotland Act 1978, which if passed would have created an assembly for Scotland. ... For the national legislative body adjourned in 1707, see Parliament of Scotland. ... This page is a candidate for speedy deletion. ... The National Assembly for Wales (or NAW) (Welsh: Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru) was established in 1998, following a 1997 referendum in which a small majority of voters (but not the electorate) voted in favour of the Labour Governments plans for devolution. ... The Scotland referendum of 1997 was a pre-legislative referendum held in Scotland only, over whether there was support for the creation of an assembly for Scotland and whether there was support for an assembly with tax varying powers. ... For the national legislative body adjourned in 1707, see Parliament of Scotland. ... The Wales referendum of 1997 was a pre-legislative referendum held in Wales only over whether there was support for the creation of an assembly for Wales. ... The National Assembly for Wales (or NAW) (Welsh: Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru) was established in 1998, following a 1997 referendum in which a small majority of voters (but not the electorate) voted in favour of the Labour Governments plans for devolution. ... The London referendum of 1998 was a referendum held in London only over whether there was support for the creation the Greater London Authority, consisting of an assembly for London and a directly elected Mayor of London. ... The current Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone. ... For more coverage on London, see the London Portal. ... The Northern Ireland referendum of 1998 was a referendum held in Northern Ireland over whether there was support for the Good Friday Agreement. ... The Belfast Agreement (also known as the Good Friday Agreement and, more rarely, as the Stormont Agreement) was signed in Belfast on April 10, 1998 by the British and Irish Governments and endorsed by most Northern Ireland political parties. ... The three northern regions. ... Regional Assembly is a title which has universally been adopted by the English bodies established as regional chambers under the Regional Development Agencies Act 1998. ... North East England is one of the regions of England. ... North West England is one of the regions of England. ... Yorkshire and The Humber is one of the regions of England. ...

Additionally, the Government of Wales Bill currently going through Parliament would invoke another referendum in Wales on increasing the powers of the Welsh Assembly. On April 20, 2004, the British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced in the House of Commons that Britain would hold a referendum on its ratification of the proposed Treaty establishing a constitution for Europe when it was agreed by the European Council. ... The Government of Wales Bill is a bill that has been introduced into the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. ...


Alex Salmond, the leader of the SNP has also stated that a referendum on Scottish independence would be the price for his party joining a ruling coalition in the Scottish Parliament. Alex Salmond MP Alexander Alex Elliot Anderson Salmond, born on Hogmanay, December 31, 1954 in Linlithgow, West Lothian, Scotland, is the leader (or National Convener) of the Scottish National Party (SNP). ... SNP may refer to: The Scottish National Party A single nucleotide polymorphism This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Walter Thomas Monningtons 1925 painting called Parliamentary Union of England and Scotland 1707 hangs in the Palace of Westminster depicting the official presentation of the law that formed the United Kingdom of Great Britain. ... For the national legislative body adjourned in 1707, see Parliament of Scotland. ...


List of minor (local) referendums

Thirty local referendums have taken place in local authorities to establish whether there is support for directly-elected mayors. Eleven received a "Yes" majority and twenty a "No" majority. The highest turnout was 64% in Berwick-upon-Tweed and the lowest was 10% in Ealing. On average, the turnout was similar to that of local elections. In the United Kingdom, the office of Mayor or Lord Mayor (Provost and Lord Provost in Scotland) had long been ceremonial posts, with little or no duties attached to it. ... Map sources for Berwick-upon-Tweed at grid reference NT9952 Berwick-upon-Tweed from across the river Berwick-upon-Tweed, (pronounced Berrick) situated in the county of Northumberland, is the northernmost town in England, situated on the east coast on the mouth of the river Tweed. ... The London Borough of Ealing is a London borough in the west of the city. ...


The majority of these were held between June 2001 and May 2002 - a further five have been held since. 2001: A Space Odyssey. ... For the Cusco album, see 2002 (album). ...


"Yes" majority shown in green, "No" majority shown in red.


Source: Electoral Commission; Ceredigion County Council

Local authority Date Yes Votes Yes Vote % No Votes No Vote % Turnout %
Berwick-upon-Tweed 7 June 2001 3,617 26 10,212 74 64
Cheltenham 28 June 2001 8,083 33 16,602 67 32
Gloucester 28 June 2001 7,731 32 16,317 68 31
Watford 12 July 2001 7,636 52 7,140 48 25
Doncaster 20 September 2001 35,453 65 19,398 35 25
Kirklees 4 October 2001 10,169 27 27,977 73 13
Sunderland 11 October 2001 9,375 43 12,209 57 10
Brighton & Hove 18 October 2001 22,724 38 37,214 62 32
Hartlepool 18 October 2001 10,667 51 10,294 49 34
Lewisham 18 October 2001 16,822 51 15,914 49 18
Middlesbrough 18 October 2001 29,067 84 5,422 16 34
North Tyneside 18 October 2001 30,262 58 22,296 42 36
Sedgefield 18 October 2001 10,628 47 11,869 53 33
Redditch 8 November 2001 7,250 44 9,198 56 28
Durham 20 November 2001 8,327 41 11,974 59 29
Harrow 6 December 2001 17,502 43 23,554 57 26
Plymouth 24 Jan 2002 29,559 41 42,811 59 40
Harlow 24 Jan 2002 5,296 25 15,490 75 25
Newham 31 Jan 2002 27,263 68 12,687 32 26
Southwark 31 Jan 2002 6,054 31 13,217 69 11
West Devon 31 Jan 2002 3,555 23 12,190 77 42
Shepway 31 Jan 2002 11,357 44 14,438 56 36
Bedford 21 Feb 2002 11,316 67 5,537 33 16
Hackney 2 May 2002 24,697 59 10,547 41 32
Mansfield 2 May 2002 8,973 55 7,350 45 21
Newcastle-under-Lyme 2 May 2002 12,912 44 16,468 56 31.5
Oxford 2 May 2002 14,692 44 18,686 56 34
Stoke on Trent 2 May 2002 28,601 58 20,578 42 27
Corby 1 October 2002 5,351 46 6239 54 31
Ealing 12 December 2002 9,454 45 11,655 55 10
Ceredigion 20 May 2004 5,308 27 14,013 73 36
Isle of Wight 5 May 2005 28,786 43.7 37,097 56.3 60.4
Torbay 15 July 2005 18,074 55.2 14,682 44.8 32.1

Berwick-upon-Tweed is a local government district and borough in Northumberland in the north_east of England, on the border with Scotland. ... Cheltenham (or Cheltenham Spa) is a spa town and borough in Gloucestershire, England, near Gloucester and Cirencester. ... Gloucester (pronounced ) is a city and district in south-west England, close to the Welsh border. ... Watford is a town and district (styled as a borough due to the historical charter granted by Henry VIII) located 15. ... Doncaster is a metropolitan borough in South Yorkshire, England. ... ... The City of Sunderland is a metropolitan borough in the metropolitan county of Tyne and Wear in North East England. ... Brighton & Hove is a unitary authority and city in East Sussex on the south coast of England. ... Hartlepool is a local government district and borough in North East England. ... The London Borough of Lewisham is a London borough in southeast London. ... Middlesbrough is a major town in North-East England and the principal location in the borough of Middlesbrough. ... North Tyneside is a metropolitan borough in the North East of England, part of the Tyne and Wear urban area centred on Newcastle and formerly part of Northumberland. ... Sedgefield is a local government district and borough in County Durham, in north-east England. ... Redditch is a town and local government district in Worcestershire, England, just south of (but not part of) the West Midlands urban area and lies on the A441, a trunk road from Birmingham to Studley. ... Durham is a local government district and city in County Durham. ... The London Borough of Harrow is a London borough of outer northwest London. ... Plymouth is a city in the South West of England, or alternatively the Westcountry, and is situated within the traditional county of Devon. ... Harlow is a local government district and new town in Essex, United Kingdom. ... Newham Town Hall in East Ham (E6) Arms of Newham London Borough Council Logo on the roadside at sunset The London Borough of Newham is a London borough in East London. ... The London Borough of Southwark is a London borough, located on the south side of the River Thames. ... West Devon is a local government district and borough in Devon, England. ... Shepway is a local government district in Kent, England. ... Bedford is a local government district and borough in the East of England. ... Hackney Town Hall was built in the 1930s for the old Metropolitan Borough. ... Mansfield is a local government district in Nottinghamshire, England. ... Newcastle-under-Lyme is a local government district with borough status in Staffordshire, England. ... Oxford is a city and local government district in Oxfordshire, England, with a population of 134,248 (2001 census). ... The city of Stoke-on-Trent (also known as The Six Towns or The Potteries) is a City in The Midlands, United Kingdom. ... Corby is an industrial town and a local government district located 8 miles north of Kettering in Northamptonshire, England. ... The London Borough of Ealing is a London borough in the west of the city. ... For other uses please see Ceredigion (disambiguation) Ceredigion is a county in Wales. ... The Isle of Wight is an English island, south of Southampton off the southern English coast. ... Torbay is an east facing bay at the western most end of Lyme Bay in the south west of England, situated roughly midway between the cities of Exeter and Plymouth. ...

Edinburgh Transport Referendum

Main article: Edinburgh Road Tolls Referendum, 2005

The City of Edinburgh Council held a postal-ballot referendum in February 2005 over whether voters supported the Council's proposed transport strategy. These plans included a congestion charge which would have required motorists to pay a fee to enter the city at certain times of the day. The result was announced on February 22, 2005 and the people of Edinburgh had rejected the proposals. 74% voted against, 26% voted in favour and the turnout was 62%. In 2005 the Labour run City of Edinburgh local authority held a referendum to seek approval for a road tolls scheme that they wished to introduce for those driving into the city of Edinburgh, as well as those who drove into the city centre from within the city boundaries. ... City of Edinburgh (Mòr-bhaile Dhùn Èideann in Gaelic) is one of 32 unitary council regions in Scotland. ... Road pricing is a generic term for charging for the use of roads using direct methods, charging the users of a specific section of the road network for its use. ... February 22 is the 53rd day of every year in the Gregorian Calendar. ...


See also

The United Kingdom has five distinct types of elections: general, local, regional, European and mayoral. ...

External links

  • The Electoral Commission - Referendums
  • The Electoral Commission - Mayoral Referendums

  Results from FactBites:
 
The Wikipedia on-line encyclopedia, on "referendum" (2424 words)
The terms referendum and plebiscite are often used interchangeably but the term plebiscite is usually preferred in circumstance in which a decision is being made on fundamental issues of sovereignty, such as in determining national borders or adopting a new constitution.
In the United States the term referendum is often reserved for a direct vote initiated by a legislature while a vote originating in a petition of citizens is referred to as an 'initiative', 'ballot measure' or 'proposition'.
A further perceived flaw of the referendum is that in some circumstances the democratic spirit of the referendum may be flouted by the repeated submission to the referendum of a proposal until it is eventually endorsed, perhaps due to a low turn-out or public fatigue with the issue.
Referendums in the United Kingdom - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (850 words)
Referendums (or referenda) are only occasionally held by the government of the United Kingdom.
Referendums are not legally binding, so legally the government can ignore the results; for example even if the result of a pre-legislative referendum was a majority of ‘No' for a proposed law, Parliament could pass it anyway.
United Kingdom referendum, 1975, on whether the UK should remain part of the European Community (yes)
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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