Lessons to be learned from Local Government Elections
Local Government Minister, Derek Mackay today outlined his support for a review of Local Government Elections.
The Local Government Elections which took place on 3 May were well planned, well run and provided results on time at the end of an effective electronic count on Friday 4 May. The comparison with the elections in 2007 is stark.
Giving the keynote speech at the Holyrood Conference – Local Government Explained, Mr Mackay said:
“We have well run elections and a fair (proportional) system of elections but there is no room for complacency. We must continue to do all we can to improve the process and to encourage the people of Scotland to play a full role in the democratic process.
“The Government has said we will look at ways to increase civic participation, including voter turnout (which was only around 39 per cent).
“A number of reviews of how the elections were run are underway. The Electoral Commission will publish its statutory report in September. This will be the first such report and the result of the Scottish Government giving the Commission a statutory role in the oversight of local elections in Scotland.
“The Electoral Management Board will also report to the Scottish Parliament on the exercise of its functions in co-ordinating the administration of local government elections in Scotland - again, as a result of legislation introduced by this Government.
“The Local Government and Regeneration Committee of the Scottish Parliament will consider the running of the elections when it meets on Wednesday 13 June with a view to holding its own inquiry.
“The Scottish Government will play an active role in all of this activity with the aim of improving the experience of voting for the voter and removing any remaining barriers which may discourage people from voting.”