Voter engagement in the UK - Political and Constitutional Reform Contents

3  Reasons for low voter engagement

11. Low voter participation is a widespread phenomenon and not one unique to the United Kingdom. Voter turnout has been falling in many countries for decades. There is no single reason for the decline in levels of voter engagement, in terms of registration rates and turnout figures, in the UK or elsewhere, but we have received evidence about several factors that are likely to affect people's inclination to vote and also their likelihood to be registered to vote in the first place. These include:

·  Political disengagement and dissatisfaction;

·  The value of voting, and

·  Concerns about where power lies.

We consider each of these issues below.

Political disengagement and dissatisfaction

12. One of the strongest arguments that came through in our evidence was that low levels of turnout at elections, and also to some extent low levels of registration, were a manifestation of a broader sense of political disengagement and dissatisfaction with politics and politicians.[11] Dr Ruth Fox, Director of the Hansard Society, told us:

    voting levels are a manifestation of the bigger problem of disengagement across the board, linked to a declining sense of the efficacy of politics generally and their role in it, and a sense that the parties are all the same, the politicians are all the same, they are not like us, it does not make any difference.[12]

Similarly, the British Academy stated: "British society has become, for the most part, disengaged with politics. […] in the case of British voters it is important to understand the scale and depth of their disenchantment."[13] Its submission went on: "Most citizens embrace the principle of democracy; the issue is that politics is not delivering against that ideal."

13. It is important not to take evidence of low levels of participation at elections, or dissatisfaction with current parties or politicians, as an indication that people do not care about politics and political issues. Very few of our witnesses believed the general public was apathetic, and most witnesses took the opposite view—stating that members of the public were interested in issues that affected their lives, but that this did not necessarily lead people to vote. Ruth Fox told us that members of the public are highly interested in public policy issues,[14] and David Babbs, the Director of 38 Degrees, told us:

    you have people who care a lot, are by no kind of ordinary measure of the word apathetic but don't see the point in registering to vote or don't vote. I think you have to recognise that as part of the problem if you are going to get to the right solution.[15]


14. Several of our witnesses, and a large number of written submissions—particularly those submitted by members of the public—stated that politicians and political parties were held in poor regard by many. The views set out in the submissions we received included:

·  politicians not respecting and not listening to the public;[16]

·  politicians not being trustworthy and not keeping promises;[17]

·  MPs just following the party line and whips;[18]

·  MPs only being willing to engage with the public in a limited way;[19]

·  the conduct of politicians being off-putting (for example, at Prime Minister's Questions);[20]

·  there are too many career politicians;[21]

·  the main parties are too similar or do not appeal to voters,[22] and

·  politicians are not representative of the public.[23]

Many similar views—in addition to several other points—were expressed by members of the public when we held an informal discussion on these issues in Sheffield.[24] The importance of trust was raised several times, and Sheffield for Democracy told us that this was the crucial reason that people were dissatisfied with current politicians.[25] Research undertaken by Professor Sarah Birch, of the University of Glasgow, demonstrated that "people's propensity to vote is linked to their trust in politicians".[26]

15. There are broad negative stereotypes about Parliament and Government—two separate institutions—which go beyond healthy and necessary scepticism and into a cynicism which if unaddressed could undermine the very basis of our representative democracy.

Role for politicians

16. We have been told that politicians and political parties have a central role in improving voter engagement and political engagement more broadly. Several of our witnesses told us that outreach by politicians was very important,[27] and there was a need for greater communication and responsiveness between politicians and the public.[28] A paper produced by the Electoral Commission also stated that "the key to any significant change lies in the hands of politicians and campaigners".[29] We have received various suggestions for how politicians could better engage with the public—including producing short videos on issues about which they received a large amount of correspondence,[30] making better use of e-mail to engage in two-way communications,[31] and having a monthly live TV programme where the Prime Minister had conversations with members of the public.[32] David Babbs, Executive Director of 38 Degrees, told us about some "very positive" experiences that "a relatively small minority" of their members had had with their local MP, and told us: "I think some of those MPs probably have things to teach the rest of you."[33] We also received evidence that there is much greater scope for politicians to use new and social media to make direct contact with the public, unmediated by the traditional media.[34] It is necessary to bear in mind the finite time and resources available to MPs, but the fact that some MPs are being praised shows that better engagement is possible.


17. Several of our witnesses stated that although people were politically interested and active there was limited opportunity for that interest to feed into current political mechanisms. Professor Matt Flinders of the University of Sheffield stated that "the traditional political structures have no way of absorbing or tapping into or understanding that energy", and people were disaffected with current political institutions.[35] Professor Hendrik Wagenaar told us that there "there is a huge amount of informal participation going on" and "there is a much wider repertoire of political engagement out there than just voting".[36] Democratic Audit also noted that "public engagement in politics beyond the ballot box has actually increased; more people see non-electoral participation such as signing a petition or attending a protest as a substitute rather than complementary to voting."[37] told us that "young people are very active on single issue campaigns, signing on-line petitions, attending issues-related meet-ups, voting via allocating money on crowdsourcing online platforms to their chosen projects, participating in street protests, and even arranging sit-ins", but that they did not "engage with traditional politics".[38]


18. Membership of political parties has fallen drastically in recent decades. There can be no clearer example of declining levels of public engagement with traditional political mechanisms.[39] A number of submissions stated that this fall in membership was not just a problem for political parties, but also for wider engagement and participation.[40]

19. We have been told that both the structure of political parties, and the way in which they are funded, should be reformed in such a way as to increase voter engagement. John E Strafford told us that the structure of political parties did not allow for "meaningful participation", and that there was therefore little incentive to be a member of a political party.[41] He suggested that individual party members should have a greater say over party matters, and that there should also be greater party activity at a regional level.

20. The Electoral Reform Society told us that "Reforming the party funding system is an important step in restoring confidence in the operation of the political system",[42] and we have received several suggestions for how party funding could be reformed, although by no means every submission we received stated that there was a need to reform party funding. Several organisations argued that state funding of political parties needed to be considered.[43] Professor Susan Banducci and Associate Professor Daniel Stevens, from the University of Exeter, argued that direct funding to political parties should be increased to enable them to do more campaigning and increase public awareness of elections.[44] Other evidence we received called for a cap on donations to political parties, potentially with a transitional period.[45] Dr Nick Anstead and Professor Sonia Livingstone argued that the reliance in the UK on caps on spending, rather than donations, meant that parties relied on a small pool of donors and did not need to draw on ordinary citizens for financial support.[46] They also argued that this "has the potential to suggest a conflict of interest and undermine public trust in the political process." They stated that although state funding was one possible solution, this would undermine the relationship between parties and the public, and it would therefore be more desirable to match funds donated by the public, or have a system whereby voters were able to nominate a party to receive their share of state funds. Unlock Democracy also called for a system of donations to parties being matched by the state, to encourage parties not just to mobilise supporters more widely than they do at present.[47] Tim Knight, a member of the public, told us that spending by parties "could/should be limited to state funding in proportion to popular support at that level."[48] Another option to spread ownership of political parties could be to give people the option of making a small tax free donation to the political party of their choice by choosing to on their income tax return, in effect "crowdsourcing" the budget of political parties.

21. Centralisation of political party activity, not least to aid party discipline and the demands of the media and messaging, is a recurrent theme in the decline in the local strength and activity of political parties. The unitary system in the UK, where all roads lead to Whitehall, means that political parties focus more and more on power at the centre and less on effective engagement not only with their membership but also with the public. This "hollowing out" must have a clear adverse impact on how people engage with elections, as well as politics more broadly. Political parties have become leader-centric. We recommend that party leaders consider how party structures could be reformed and localised to better engage with the public. We will write to each party leader and request that they engage with the Committee directly in respect of this recommendation. We look forward to their responses and to taking proposals forward.

22. We have previously called for progress to be made on broadening the base of party funding: this is an area where reform could strengthen local party structures, increase confidence in the independence of political parties and therefore strengthen politics more broadly. Cross-party talks on party funding will be most successful if no pre-conditions are set, but some members of the Committee believe that increased taxpayer funding of political parties is not likely to be part of the solution. We recommend that all-party talks on party funding are resumed urgently with a view to reaching a swift, agreed settlement before the general election.


23. As part of our inquiry we have considered the role of the media as the main arbiter of the public's perception of MPs, Parliament and Government, and also its role in raising awareness of elections and political engagement more broadly. Several pieces of evidence noted the focus of the media on "conflict" and "the very worst of party politics".[49] Unlock Democracy considered that although there was "little evidence that the media has any significant negative impact on political participation […] the constant media focus on scandal and negative stories is unlikely to have any positive effect."[50] By its nature much of politics, policy making and public consultation is lengthy and unexciting and does not fit easily in to an ever diverse and highly competitive media agenda which has to produce stories 24 hours a day. That said, we also received evidence which highlighted the importance of an independent press in scrutinising politicians.[51] It is also broadly accepted that much of the media has its own political agenda.

24. We asked Ruth Fox of the Hansard Society what role the media played in people's political engagement. She told us that:

    we did a study isolating all the drivers we know about political disengagement [...] and it was better for your political citizenship not to read a newspaper than it was to read a tabloid because it feeds that cynical anti- politics approach.[52]

Birmingham 'Success' Group, a project funded by the European Commission's 'Europe for Citizens' programme, which brings together groups of young people to discuss citizenship, stated: "the national tabloid press is particularly guilty of sensationalising any political issue or event which can be presented as running counter to the 'national interest' and any negative aspect of the private life of politicians".[53] Noting that the effect of the media could be different on different audiences, Professor Charlie Beckett stated: "It is safest to say that networked media has definitely made engagement easier for the 'already-interested' and marginally easier for the occasionally active. There may be negative effects for the wider population such as disillusion, dysfunction and lack of delivery."[54] Stephen Fisher, Associate Professor at the University of Oxford, also noted the complex relationship the media could have with political engagement and participation:

    While some research shows that the media can enhance participation by informing and motivating people, other studies show that it can also put people off politics and voting. The effects depend on the nature of the source, content and context of the media coverage, and so overall there might be very little net effect on participation.[55]

25. We also received evidence from representatives of the media. The National Union of Journalists stated that the media—and the NUJ represents people from broadcast media, newspapers, news agencies, magazines, books, public relations, communications, online media and photography—had a very important role to play in relation to voter engagement, as it was "the main source of information for most people on political parties and their policies, politicians, party manifestos, opinion polls and political analysis as well as political gossip and scandal."[56]

26. Unlike other news outlets, the BBC exists to serve the public interest, and one of the public purposes set out in the BBC's Royal Charter is "sustaining citizenship and civil society".[57] In order to fulfil this purpose, the BBC is required to give regard to the "need to promote understanding of the UK political system".[58] Both Ric Bailey, the BBC's Chief Adviser on politics, and Sue Inglish, Head of Political Programmes for the BBC, rejected the idea that the BBC was cynical in its portrayal of politics, but stated that coverage could be sceptical. Sue Inglish told us: "We have to be robust in our questioning. Cynical is something that we absolutely do not want to do and I do not think that the BBC does do that."[59] In terms of the broader portrayal of politics by the media, Ric Bailey told us:

    I think when it is done properly and when politics is shown in the raw as it were I think people will engage with it and, like Sue, I am not as pessimistic as you are. It may feel here as if it would be more under siege but I think engagement in politics generally is not declining.[60]

27. One of the areas we questioned the BBC on was their approach to Europe. In 2005 a review commissioned by the BBC's board of governors and an independent panel concluded that "there is a widespread perception that the BBC suffers from certain forms of cultural and unintentional bias" and that "the BBC's coverage of EU news needs to be improved and to be made more demonstrably impartial".[61] When we asked the BBC about their coverage on immigration and the European Union Ric Bailey told us:

    I think the BBC has already said that there were elements of that story—and I don't think it was just the BBC and I don't think it was even just the media, perhaps Parliament itself—and I think there were elements of that where we were a bit slow to talk about it. I think the BBC takes its responsibility for that as much as anybody else did. As you say, I think that is something, particularly through some of these other different outlets where there is quite a close interaction with the audience and we do pick up these things more quickly through social media then perhaps we used to, where we are more responsive and able to feed back into the general debate; that sort of thing is happening. In general terms, I think we are less likely to miss it now than perhaps we were 10 years ago because we are perhaps better engaged in talking to audiences than we were in the past.[62]

28. The National Union of Journalists also raised concerns about the power of large newspaper groups, telling us "media plurality is vital for a healthy, functioning democracy" and arguing that there should be a limit on the market share private firms are able to reach.[63] The NUJ also stated that the local media "plays an important role in local democracy and again is a vital source of information for voters in local elections", but that decisions of newspaper groups were undermining this role. Democratic Audit also noted that coverage of local elections in local media could have a positive impact on voter turnout.[64]

29. The televised debates ahead of the 2010 general election were an innovation which we were told had had a positive impact on voter engagement, particularly on young voters. Ric Bailey told us the debates were a big success "both in broadcasting terms but also in audience engagement terms".[65] Sue Inglish told us: "I think they were such an important contribution to the electoral process that I would be very disappointed if they did not happen again, and we will work very hard to make sure that they do."[66] BBC, ITV, Sky and Channel 4 have now announced plans to hold three debates ahead of the 2015 general election, to include one between the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition, one also including the Deputy Prime Minister, and one with all three and also the leader of UKIP.[67] Noting the possible positive impact of media exposure, Professor Susan Banducci and Dr Daniel Stevens recommended allowing more free air time to political parties, as citizens who have been exposed to an election campaign through the media have a higher probability of voting than those who did not see much of the campaign coverage.[68]

30. Glenn Gottfried, Quantitative Research Fellow at the Institute of Public Policy Research, told us that the media could have a better relationship with politicians, telling us that if the dynamic were to change:

    politicians would be confident enough to answer the questions that people are asked in the media, and the media would be respectful enough not to try to make the politicians look like they had gone off message or said something that was not entirely in keeping with other people in their party, and respect politicians when they are trying to be direct and truthful and answering questions in as honest a way as possible. A bit more respect between politicians and the media probably would go a long way towards reducing the perception that politicians are constantly spinning, which people really appear not to like.[69]

Other evidence argued that the media should provide "more positive news around the importance to get engaged in local or national democracy".[70] Damian Lyon Lowes, Chief Executive of polling company Survation, called for "more direct communication" by "Parliament, councils, the Electoral Commission, everybody who is in charge of elections", bypassing the media.[71] Some media outlets have also specifically taken up the cause of increasing voter engagement, with the Daily Mirror working with Bite the Ballot and others on a campaign to get one million new voters to register to vote.[72]

31. The media plays an essential role in informing the public about political news, in relation both to elections and politics more broadly. While it should be understood that public education and increasing levels of voter engagement is not necessarily a priority for news media, we note that the BBC does have a clear duty, through its Charter, to sustain citizenship and civil society. Innovations such as televised debates ahead of general elections have proved to be popular as television events but have not resulted in sustainable engagement with the political process. We have also received evidence that relentless and disproportionate focus of the media on negative news stories and "the very worst of party politics" can have a negative impact on how the public perceives politicians and the political system, reinforcing a cynicism that makes people less likely to vote. It is our view that politicians and media outlets could both do more to move the media focus away from denigration and trivialisation and more towards analysis and reporting, with the hope of better engaging the public with issues that concern them to make politics and elections more relevant. This is a sensitive area with strong default positions on all sides but, again, the future of democracy in the UK demands that business as usual is not an option. We intend to hold a summit with willing participants in the New Year to start a discussion on whether, and how, the media and politics can interact for the greater good of a healthy democracy.

The value of voting

32. A significant theme in the written evidence submitted by members of the public was that they felt there was no point in voting, or that their vote did not make a difference, particularly when they lived in a safe seat, where the party of the elected representative was unlikely to change.[73] Various witnesses gave their view that the First Past the Post (FPTP) voting system, used for general and local elections, had a negative effect on people's perception of voting, and the value of individual votes,[74] as well as meaning there was little incentive for political parties to engage with the majority of voters.[75] That said, others have argued in favour of the First Past the Post voting system, citing the simplicity of the system and the fact that the constituency's representative is the one favoured by more electors than any other.[76] Will Brett, Head of Media of the Electoral Reform Society, stated:

    Lots of voters in safe seats are going to struggle to see the point and if they have lots of other pressures on their time and resources, if they have limited resources, the point of voting is going to be harder to understand. I think that is part of the problem.[77]

    Similarly, David Babbs, Executive Director at 38 Degrees, told us:

    There are a significant number of 38 Degrees members, a minority but I think a revealing minority, who are very active with 38 Degrees but don't vote and are not registered to vote because they don't see the point. I think this an important point to make because I am sure there are some people who are apathetic, […] but I don't think fundamentally that is the problem. It is the perception of it being worthwhile or it making a difference.[78]

33. Dr Stephen Barber stated that a "suspicion by the electorate that their vote does not matter perhaps goes to the heart of the structural weaknesses with our Westminster model and first-past-the-post electoral system."[79] He highlighted research which had found the number of marginal seats—where there is likely to be a change in the party of the member elected—was as few as 85, representing no more than 15% of the present 650 constituencies. He also noted that the FPTP voting system meant that the number of MPs elected for each party bore little relation to the number of votes the parties received at a national level. A further complaint against the FPTP electoral system was that it "severely disadvantages smaller parties with the effect of reducing real voter choice."[80] That said, Dr Barber also acknowledged that levels of turnout in marginal seats differed little from levels of turnout in safe seats.

Where power lies

34. Several written submissions referred to the structure of government in the UK and relationships with international bodies as reasons for low voter engagement. A number of these highlighted dissatisfaction with the relationship between the UK and EU as a reason for people not voting.[81] Mr Hugh Eveleigh, for example, told us: "I imagine that many folk feel that the EU has ultimate control and what is the point of bothering as we have no control on what it does."[82] Others stated that there was likely to be greater interest in politics and elections at a local level if local government were reinvigorated,[83] potentially by more substantial devolution to local government.[84] On this point, Professor Sarah Birch told us that "if more genuine powers were given to local government", it would enable local councillors to better mobilise constituents, as they would be able to have less constrained campaign messages.[85] Nigel Slack, of Sheffield for Democracy, took the view that devolving greater power and finance to local government was "vital to reinvigorating local politics in particular".[86] The Local Government Association stated that the "national framework of local democracy needs to be renewed to ensure decisions about local arrangements are made by people who are accountable to local voters."[87] Similarly, the 4 Freedoms Party (UK EPP), a pro-EU political party, and the British Committee of the European People's Party stated that "British local government enjoys insufficient subsidiarity from Westminster" and that this "over-centralisation of power within the UK is increasing voter disengagement".[88]

35. Overcentralisation of power in Whitehall has had a clear adverse impact on how people engage with and perceive politics and elections for the localities and nations of the UK. Measures that appropriately devolve decision-making and power from Whitehall to a lower level might have been thought to be likely to have a positive impact on engagement with non-Westminster politics and elections, although this failed to happen in respect of elected police and crime commissioners. This sentiment is not just evidenced in Scotland but is also prevalent in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the localities within. While devolving power to the localities would be an improvement most political parties believe it should not stop there but also go deeper to neighbourhoods and communities, so-called "double devolution".

36. This Committee has produced a number of reports over the course of the Parliament looking at the relationship between local and central government and urging much greater devolution; we are consulting, through "A New Magna Carta?" on several options for a new structure and constitutional framework for the UK, and we are currently undertaking an inquiry looking at how devolution should take place across the United Kingdom. In a time of political volatility, clarity about a future democratic settlement is vital. It is clear that engagement with politics and elections at a local level suffers from overcentralisation, and the rhetorical commitment of all parties needs to find concrete form in substantial changes to the devolution settlement across the UK to reinvigorate local politics. We recommend that, at a time when manifestos are being written, party leaderships make real, not least in England, the undertakings given to ending overcentralisation and to extending devolution, not least as a means of engaging the electorate much more in deciding their own affairs.

The views of "non-voters"

37. One of our witnesses, Fran O'Leary, Director of Strategy and Innovation at Lodestone, a communications consultancy, gave evidence to us on the basis of a survey she had commissioned into the attitudes of "non-voters" as compared with voters. The survey was conducted by the polling company Survation, and "non-voters" were defined as "those who did not vote in the 2010 General Election (this includes those who were too young or otherwise ineligible to vote in May 2010)."[89] Of the respondents to the survey, over half of those who had not voted in the 2010 general election had never voted in a general election.[90] This included 23% of those aged over 55, who must therefore have missed at least eight consecutive general elections. Specific reasons those who did not vote in the 2010 general election gave for not doing so included:

·  "27% said they didn't believe their vote would make a difference;

·  25% said they thought the parties/candidates were all the same;

·  19% said they were not interested in politics, and

·  18% said they did not have enough information/knowledge to choose."[91]

Accessibility of voting was also highlighted in the survey results. Patrick Brione, Director of Research at Survation, told us:

    from our poll when we asked non-voters what their main reason was why they did not vote, as well as the large number that said things like, "I don't believe my vote will make a difference" and so on, there were 9% that said they were not able to access a polling station or get a postal ballot as their main reason. That is a small portion but I think it is still a significant number of people that said they have obstacles in some way.[92]

38. We heard that respondents to the survey who did not vote were "very interested in issues like how their kids are schooled, or making sure that they have access to more housing, concerns about debt—things that Parliament deals with", but that for some reason this interest was not connecting with the act of voting.[93] We also heard that both younger voters and non-voters "did not feel that they had enough information or understanding".[94]


39. A number of factors have contributed to low levels of voter engagement in recent years. The evidence we have received indicates that the most significant of these is political disengagement and dissatisfaction with politicians, political parties and UK politics more broadly. Issues such as the perception that voting does not make a difference and dissatisfaction with where power lies in the UK system have also been cited as reasons for low levels of participation at elections. These are all legitimate reasons for people to disengage from the electoral process, and it cannot be said that low turnout levels and registration rates are the result of apathy on the part of the public. Just as the exposure of abuse of parliamentary allowances and the subsequent establishment of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has purged the expenses scandal, so an equally serious and perhaps uncomfortable set of reforms are needed to renew democratic participation. In a consumer society, there is a danger that the enormous demands placed on democratic institutions to gratify expectations can lead to short-termism and a lack of substantive engagement. However, the decline in voter engagement is a result of failures by the governing political and administrative elite, and responsibility for initiating the re-engagement of the electorate with existing and future political processes lies with politicians. We recommend that political parties come forward with a package of measures to renew democratic participation which are based squarely upon those in this Report.

40. There is a strong perception that elections themselves are hidebound by process, bureaucracy, rules and restrictions and that the electoral process in the UK needs to be part of rediscovering a sense of excitement and engagement, to celebrate democratic values and to cherish the history of extending the vote to both sexes and all classes. This should not only occur on National Voter Registration Day but be a part of culture and education. It must also be supported by reinvigoration of the UK's electoral administration, and we propose measures to achieve this in the remainder of this Report. We are conscious that we are placing a heavy burden on the Electoral Commission and Electoral Registration Officers both now and for the future. In this context of constant improvement we also draw attention, for consideration by the public, to the proposal for a standing Commission for Democracy, akin to the Electoral Commission, but as a permanent mechanism for broader democratic reform and renewal which is floated in our report A new Magna Carta?, currently out for public consultation.

11   Q142 [David Babbs], written evidence from Professor Matt Flinders [VUK 06], Electoral Reform Society [VUK 17], Mark Ryan [VUK 31], Andrew Ping [VUK 60], Keith Best [VUK 117] Back

12   Q84 [Dr Ruth Fox] Back

13   Written evidence from the British Academy [VUK 11] Back

14   Q84 [Dr Ruth Fox] Back

15   Q171 [David Babbs] Back

16   Q157 [David Babbs], written evidence from Gillian Pardesi [VUK 04], Myplace Project [VUK 23], Professor Pete Dorey [VUK 45] Back

17   Q21 [Professor Sarah Birch], Q377 [Nigel Slack], written evidence from Mr Hugh Eveleigh [VUK 01], 38 Degrees [VUK 50], Andy Tye [VUK 84], Sheffield for Democracy [VUK 93 and VUK 124], Lodestone [VUK 101], Unlock Democracy Birmingham [VUK 143] Back

18   Written evidence from Mr Les G Cooper [VUK 07], Gordon J Sheppard [VUK 57], Philip Combes [VUK 64], Paul D Lee [VUK 70], Arthur C James [VUK 111], Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform [VUK 152] Back

19   Q164 [David Babbs], Paul D Lee [VUK 70] Back

20   Q184 [Toni Pearce], Professor Pete Dorey [VUK 45], Hansard Society [VUK 46], David H Smith [VUK 59], Andrew Ping [VUK 60], Paul D Lee [VUK 70], Peter Roberts [VUK 82], Andy Tye [VUK 84], STV Action [VUK 114], Keith Best [VUK 117], John E Strafford [VUK 134] Back

21   Q377 [Nigel Slack] Back

22   Q378 [Nigel Slack], written evidence from Andrew Jones [VUK 10], Unlock Democracy [VUK 18], Mark Ryan [VUK 31], Professor Pete Dorey [VUK 45], David H Smith [VUK 59], Sheffield for Democracy [VUK 93], Liam Hardy [VUK 109], STV Action [VUK 114], Ken Davies [VUK 127], Michael Meadowcroft [VUK 135], Unlock Democracy Birmingham [VUK 143] Back

23   Q122 [Jessica Garland], Q184 [Toni Pearce], written evidence from Gillian Pardesi [VUK 04], Andrew Jones [VUK 10], Electoral Reform Society [VUK 17], Written evidence from Dr Elin Weston and LLB Advanced Constitutional Law students, King's College London [VUK 33], Liam Hardy [VUK 109], John E Strafford [VUK 134] Back

24   Annex 2 Back

25   Written evidence from Sheffield for Democracy [VUK 93 and 124] Back

26   Q22 [Professor Sarah Birch] Back

27   Q19 [Glenn Gottfried] Back

28   Written evidence from Dr K Purdam and R Southern [VUK 62], Thomas G F Gray [VUK 67] Back

29   Annex 1, written evidence from the Electoral Commission [VUK 156] Back

30   Written evidence from Philip Combes [VUK 64] Back

31   Written evidence from Democracy Matters [VUK 112] Back

32   Written evidence from Tom London [VUK 116] Back

33   Q142 [David Babbs] Back

34   Written evidence from Professor Charlie Beckett [VUK 133] Back

35   Q386 [Professor Matt Flinders] Back

36   Q390 [Professor Hendrik Wagenaar] Back

37   Written evidence from Unlock Democracy [VUK 18] Back

38   Written evidence from [VUK 29] Back

39   Written evidence from Keith Best [VUK 117], John E Strafford [VUK 134], Michael Meadowcroft [VUK 135], Unlock Democracy Birmingham [VUK 143], Dr Nick Anstead and Professor Sonia Livingstone OBE [VUK 149] Back

40   Written evidence from the Electoral Reform Society [VUK 17], Professor Pete Dorey [VUK 45] Back

41   Written evidence from John E Strafford [VUK 134] Back

42   Written evidence from the Electoral Reform Society [VUK 17] Back

43   Written evidence from the Electoral Reform Society [VUK 17], Andrew Jones [VUK 10], Sheffield for Democracy [VUK 93], Mike Simpson [VUK 162] Back

44   Written evidence from Professor Susan Banducci and Associate Professor Daniel Stevens, University of Exeter [VUK 120] Back

45   Written evidence from John E Strafford [VUK 134] Back

46   Written evidence from Dr Nick Anstead and Professor Sonia Livingstone [VUK 149] Back

47   Written evidence from Unlock Democracy [VUK 18] Back

48   Written evidence from Tim Knight [VUK 129] Back

49   Written evidence from Andrew Jones [VUK 10], Electoral Reform Society [VUK 17], Unlock Democracy [VUK 18], Mark Ryan [VUK 31], Birmingham Success Group [VUK 37], Liam Hardy [VUK 109], Democracy Matters [VUK 112] Back

50   Written evidence from Unlock Democracy [VUK 18] Back

51   Written evidence from the National Union of Journalists [VUK 137] Back

52   Q88 [Dr Ruth Fox] Back

53   Written evidence from the Birmingham 'Success' Group [VUK 37] Back

54   Written evidence from Professor Charlie Beckett [VUK 133] Back

55   Written evidence from Professor Stephen Fisher [VUK 35] Back

56   Written evidence from the National Union of Journalists [VUK 137] Back

57   Royal Charter for the continuance of the British Broadcasting Corporation, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 2006 Back

58   An Agreement Between Her Majesty's Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and the British Broadcasting Corporation, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 2006 Back

59   Q439 [Sue Inglish] Back

60   Q437 [Ric Bailey] Back

61   BBC News Coverage of the European Union, Independent Panel Report, BBC, January 2005 Back

62   Q487 [Ric Bailey] Back

63   Written evidence from the National Union of Journalists [VUK 137] Back

64   Written evidence from Democratic Audit [VUK 20] Back

65   Q477 [Ric Bailey] Back

66   Q460 [Sue Inglish] Back

67   Rival parties' anger at TV debate offer to Nigel Farage, BBC News, 13 October 2014 Back

68   Written evidence from Professor Susan Banducci and Dr Daniel Stevens [VUK 120] Back

69   Q50 [Glenn Gottfried] Back

70   Written evidence from Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council [VUK 49] Back

71   Q513 [Damian Lyon Lowes] Back

72   No vote no voice: Mirror campaign to get 1 million new voters to register, Daily Mirror, September 2014 Back

73   Written evidence from 38 Degrees [VUK 50], Ian Sheppard [VUK 51], Michael Yates [VUK 53], David H Smith [VUK 59], Tim Knight [VUK 69], Paul D Lee [VUK 70], Tim Iverson [VUK 79], Peter Roberts [VUK 82], Sheffield for Democracy [VUK 93], Dr David Hill [VUK 99], Anthony Tuffin [VUK 105], Keith Underhill [VUK 113], STV Action [VUK 114], Make Votes Count in West Sussex [VUK 115], Keith Best [VUK 117], David Bernard [VUK 144] Back

74   Q156 [David Babbs], Q244 [Dr Toby James], Q377 [Nigel Slack], written evidence from Dr Elin Weston and LLB Advanced Constitutional Law students, King's College London [VUK 33], Professor Stephen D Fisher [VUK 35], Professor Ailsa Henderson [VUK 38], Malcolm Morrison [VUK 68], Peter Roberts [VUK 82], David Green [VUK 91], Liam Hardy [VUK 109], Colin Buchanan [VUK 110], Michael Meadowcroft [VUK 135], Charles Harvey [VUK 138], Unlock Democracy Birmingham [VUK 143], Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform [VUK 152] Back

75   Written evidence from Democracy Matters [VUK 112] Back

76   For example, We should stay with the first past the post voting system, Grégoire Webber, and The case for First Past the Post, Lord Norton of Louth Back

77   Q123 [Will Brett] Back

78   Q171 [David Babbs] Back

79   Written evidence from Dr Stephen Barber [VUK 12] Back

80   Written evidence from Dr Elin Weston and LLB Advanced Constitutional Law students, King's College London [VUK 33] Back

81   Written evidence from Mr Hugh Eveleigh [VUK 01], Mr Les G Cooper [VUK 07], Professor Ailsa Henderson [VUK 38], Professor Pete Dorey [VUK 45], Lionel Judd [VUK 136] Back

82   Written evidence from Mr Hugh Eveleigh [VUK 01] Back

83   Written evidence from David Green [VUK 91] Back

84   Written evidence from the Local Government Association [VUK 70] Sheffield for Democracy [VUK 93 and VUK 124], Liam Hardy [VUK 109] Back

85   Q34 [Professor Sarah Birch] Back

86   Q377 [Nigel Slack] Back

87   Written evidence from the Local Government Association [VUK 70] Back

88   Written evidence from 4 Freedoms Party (UK EPP)/British Committee of the European People's Party [VUK 146] Back

89   Written evidence from Survation [VUK 103] Back

90   Q499 [Patrick Brione] Back

91   Written evidence from Lodestone [VUK 101] Back

92   Q509 [Patrick Brione] Back

93   Q494 [Fran O'Leary] Back

94   Q495 [Patrick Brione] Back

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© Parliamentary copyright 2014
Prepared 14 November 2014