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Electoral Commission report: official

Posted on January 30, 2013 by

You can download the Commission’s full report on the question here.

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    16 to “Electoral Commission report: official”

    1. Galen10 says:

      Think you’ll find that’s the “existing” wording rendered as a ballot from Appendix 4 of the report; their actual proposed “amended” wording is supposed to be in Appendix 3, which doesn’t appear in the report you linked to… probably because it’s not 11AM yet?

    2. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      Quite right, amended.

    3. Aplinal says:

      I found this particular comment from the report most interesting
      The majority of people who responded commented on how the question was formulated, with views ranging from those who strongly supported the current formulation; those who said even if the question was leading it would not have much impact on the result; to those who were strongly of the view that it was a leading question.
      [My emphasis]
      So, basically the SG version is NOT ACTUALLY a leading question!  But anyway the EC want to change it. 

      “Should Scotland become an Independent country?” I can live with that. Although it would be nice if the SG added “again” to the end 😉

    4. tartanfever says:

      Raymond Buchanan on the BBC news channel just reported that the question will be changed, the SNP have agreed to change it.

      ‘Should Scotland be an independent country ?’ The ‘Do you agree’ has been dropped. 

    5. redcliffe62 says:

      The whole point of having a question is making sure you get the result you want. The SNP have  a mandate to ask what they want and therefore should ask what they want. Simple as that. Life is not meant to be fair.
      Previous referenda asked do you agree so if it was OK before it is OK now. Any mention of that in the report?

    6. Cuphook says:

      Will the Unionists and the media now be demanding that the UK Government abide by the EC’s recommendations?
      ‘As to public information, we propose to say that we believe it important that voters have some agreed factual information before they vote, about the process that would follow the referendum. We propose to recommend that the UK and Scottish Governments should provide clarity on that process, sufficient to inform people what will happen if a majority vote ‘Yes’ in the referendum.’

    7. Aplinal says:

      I tend to agree, but this is NOT about just the question, but it is ALL about the surrounding politics.  the EC report suggested that as previous referendum were to “confirm” existing legislation, the wording was not an issue.  As this will propose a completely NEW situation (actually a restoration of a very OLD situation!) they are suggesting as much neutrality as possible.  I don’t think we (i.e. pro-Independence supporters) need to create artificial barriers. 
      After all the answer to the question, “Should Scotland be an Independent county?” is still YES!

    8. james morton says:

      wait….what was that noise? – i distinctly heard a bang go off just now – someone go check and see if Alan Cochrane and Ian Smart have exploded.


    9. AnneDon says:

      One important thing is:  The Unionists are still the No Campaign!  It might not be THE most important thing, but it’s good for those of us who want independence.  IMHO 

    10. Gaavster says:

      For some strange reason I’ve ended up on a Better Together mailing list…. I haven’t unsubscribed because of my belief in ‘knowing your enemy’ and how they think…

      Anyways, this has just arrived – 

      I’ll leave the good folks here to form their own opinions of the spin….

      “Dear Gavin,

      The Electoral Commission have now published their recommendations on the question for the referendum and on campaign finance. You can read it here.
      I am pleased that this impartial body has rejected the fixed referendum question which Alex Salmond demanded.
      They have also rejected the nationalist attempts to silence their opponents by setting spending limits that would have given them an unfair advantage.
      The commission’s experts have also said that nationalist attempts to gag business, unions and civil society are wrong.
      However we think that once the referee has blown the whistle the players should obey the decision. That is why months ago we said we would accept the Commission’s recommendations in their entirety.
      Over the past few months, we have called on the nationalists to follow our lead and agree to having the Electoral Commission set the rules. It looks like we have won that argument. Alex Salmond has had to concede that he cannot  be both the referee and player in this particular game.  Thanks to the thousands of you who joined our campaign for fair referendum rules.
      Now that the rules have been agreed we can get on with the debate. It is a debate that we intend to win. We are Better Together with our friends, families and workmates from across the UK. It is a message that, I’m sure, the majority of Scots can agree with.
      The Rt Hon Alistair Darling MP
      Better Together
      Campaign HQ
      5 Blythswood Square
      G2 4AD ”



    11. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

      I can see the MSM headlines as Embarrising u-turn on referendum question for the SNP.

      I fully expect them to ignore the pre Independence  talks recommendation. Never mind expose Westminster’s inevitable refusal. 

      I’m comfortable with the question, and confident of a YES vote.   

    12. mogabee says:

      There’s a possibility that the Better Together camp have lost the art of strategy. Let’s hope that they do not  regain that skill!!

    13. zedeeyen says:

      Davidson, Foulkes et al must be absolutely apoplectic with the EC this morning.

      And what a lovely thought that is. 

    14. Pa Broon says:


      This is a damp squib. The wording is only important if when people go to vote, when they arrive at the polling station, an electoral official jumps out of a cupboard, yells the question in their ear and only accepts the first answer they get. Its a nonsense.

      Beyond that, it isn’t worth ‘not’ adopting the wording suggested by the EC, it differs only slightly from what YES and the SNP wanted, we still have the YES option. As usual, Better Together will seize on this and blow it up as some sort of re-energising, vindicating victory for their side. It isn’t, but BT are unable to win on anything substantive so they’ll take this and run with it, for a very, very long time.

      I imagine there would have been a fair few unionists choking down their disappointment at not being able to brand Salmond/The SNP/Cybernats/Sturgeon/Yes Scotland/etc as evil tirants for not taking the advice of the Electoral Commission.

      World according to Alistair Darling etc – for the No crowd; A smashing victory, for the SNP/Yes crowd a crushing defeat. If the Scottish Government rejected the EC findings: Yes/SNP evil dictators stifling fair & unbiased advice while the No crowd get to be valiant & brave in the face of SNP fascist autocracy.

      You can’t win. (If you believe our national media that is…)

    15. Donald Kerr says:

      I think the question is much better without the “Do you agree …” part. This is a very good result indeed for the pro-independence side. More importantly, there’s other words in the EC’s response that imply that the UK Gov will have to speak to Europe prior to the vote. It’s been a good day for the YES camp.

    16. andrew_haddow says:

      I reckon the “Do you agree …” was probably a gambit to be given up to get the question the SG wanted all along. Same with the funding limits.

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