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Poll: 9 in 10 can’t name their Police and Crime Commissioner

30th April 2016
30 Apr 2016

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  • 89% of people say they can’t name their PCC, and of those who said they can, 10% actually can’t, according to new BMG polling for the Electoral Reform Society
  • Just 4% feel well informed about the PCC election – 3% ‘well informed’ and 1% ‘very well informed’

For immediate release, 9:30am, Saturday April 30th 2016

For more information, quotes or to arrange an interview, contact Josiah Mortimer, ERS Communications Officer, on 07717211630 or Josiah.Mortimer@electoral-reform.org.uk

 

Nine in ten members of the public say they can’t name their local Police and Crime Commissioner – and of those who say they can, 10% get it wrong, according to a new BMG Research [1] poll for the Electoral Reform Society.

The figure drops to just 1% when 18-24 year olds are asked if they can name their PCC, and 5% for 25-34 year olds.

The findings are leading the ERS to call on all involved to ‘pull out all the stops in the final count-down to polling day’’ for PCCs, with just 4% feeling well-informed about the election for police chiefs on May 5th

The South West scores the best for knowledge of who the local PCC is, with 17% saying they know who their PCC is, compared to the West Midlands where the figure is just 4%.

7% of people in the South West say they feel well-informed about the PCC election – the highest figure. That drops to just 2% in the East Midlands, East of England, Yorkshire and the West Midlands.

The ERS is calling for ‘concerted action’ to get information out there on PCCs, with under a week to go until polling day.

Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said:

“The 2012 PCC election was the lowest turnout for any national election in the UK ever, at just 15%. It would seem that four years after police commissioners were introduced, the public are none the wiser about what they actually do. The fact that just one in ten can name their local PCC is an indictment of the whole approach to these roles and the election.   

“There’s clearly a real lack of public engagement in this election and the last – something exacerbated by a total lack of information about the roles and often the candidates, too. In our survey of PCC candidates in 2012 we found that 88% thought public awareness of the election was low, and of these, 62% thought it was very low. 

“In some cases the PCC areas cover millions of people - illustrating the problems many candidates have in reaching voters. The West Midlands area covers over two million voters, for example.

“There’s been very little coverage of the election this time, much as last time, and there will be big differences in turnout depending on where there are local elections. The fact that, unlike the November 2012 election, this vote coincides with council elections, will raise turnout - but much more needs to be done to learn the lessons from previous votes. There are just a few days to get the information out and encourage people to vote - so we hope everyone concerned pulls out all the stops to get the public involved in this important vote.

“Even where turnout is higher this time, the fact that just 4% of people feel well-informed about the vote shows that we haven’t had a high quality debate or a decent democratic process.

“There are still big hurdles to encouraging people to turn out to vote – as well as obstacles to candidates from a wide range of backgrounds putting themselves forward.

“A poll conducted by Populus in 2013 showed that only 11% of respondents could correctly name the person elected for their area. With today’s poll showing an almost identical result, it looks like little has changed, and little has been learnt from last time’s disastrous ballot.

“Another poll for the ERS after the election showed that 45% of people who did not vote said they ‘didn’t have enough information about the candidates to make a decision’. That remains a huge problem.

“Although it may be too late now, we need concerted action to make sure the public have all the information they need to decide on who to pick for these important roles.”

ENDS

Notes

For more information, quotes or to arrange an interview, contact Josiah Mortimer, ERS Communications Officer, on 07717211630 or Josiah.Mortimer@electoral-reform.org.uk

Read ‘How Not to Run An Election’ on the 2012 PCC elections by the Electoral Reform Society: http://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/blog/the-price-of-failure-on-pcc-elections

For more information on the ERS see the website: www.electoral-reform.org.uk/

[1] Poll of 1521 respondents aged 18+ in Great Britain, conducted by BMG Research. Fieldwork conducted between the 21st-26th April 2016. For full cross-tabs contact Josiah Mortimer (information above).

Democracy campaigners welcome government u-turn on Union Bill

27th April 2016
27 Apr 2016

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For immediate release, 27th April 2016

For more information, quotes or to arrange an interview, contact Josiah Mortimer, ERS Communications Officer, on 07717211630 or Josiah.Mortimer@electoral-reform.org.uk

Commenting on the news that the government has made major concessions [1] on the Trade Union Reform Bill - which has its Consideration of Lords’ Amendments stage in the House of Commons today -

Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said:

“After months of campaigning, it’s welcome news that the government have listened and made some much-needed and substantial changes to the Trade Union Bill.

“The decision to make the switch to an ‘opt-in’ approach to union political funds contingent on consultation with the Certification Officer and trade unions – and the backing of both Houses of Parliament - shows the government has recognised that this is a move which would have huge ramifications for opposition party funding. This demonstrates that – even with a topic as politically controversial as party funding – parliamentarians from all sides can work together to achieve consensus. We’d like to see that spirit of consensus sustained into negotiations between all parties on a fair and transparent party funding settlement.

“If the consultation and Parliament determine that the switch to ‘opt-in’ should go ahead, unions will now be given at least a year – as opposed to the mere three months outlined in the Bill previously - to transition towards making members ‘opt in’ to their political funds. This is a hugely positive step, and the 12-month period is a real window of opportunity for all parties to get around the table and sort out our broken party finance system once and for all. The public are sick and tired of party funding scandals, so the government and opposition should use this time to thrash out a genuine cross-party deal. A year is a long time in politics – it shouldn’t be beyond the parties to agree on a fair and transparent funding system in that time.

“The fact that Ministers are conceding that unions can trial e-voting is also a positive move. Participation in civil society is fundamentally a good thing – it should be encouraged by increasing the ways in which union members can vote, not discouraged by artificially narrowing the space for taking part.

“Finally, it’s good to see the government will now allow members to opt in to union political funds online. Under the Bill as it stood before, they would only have been able to hand in a form in person or via post – a bizarre anachronism in a digital age.”

ENDS

The Electoral Reform Society has written to all MPs today calling on them to back the government-backed changes to the Bill.

For more information, quotes or to arrange an interview, contact Josiah Mortimer, ERS Communications Officer, on 07717211630 or Josiah.Mortimer@electoral-reform.org.uk

Notes

[1] See here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36146561 and here http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/apr/26/no-10-makes-new-u-turn-over-trade-union-bill

Safe seats for the boys? Women defend 10 of Wales’ 11 most marginal seats // Seddi saff i'r bois?: Merched yn amddiffyn 10 o 11 sedd fwyaf ymylol Cymru

25th April 2016
25 Apr 2016

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***Neges Ddwyieithog: Scroliwch Lawr am y Gymraeg // Bilingual Message: Scroll down for Welsh***

 

New ERS research shows women’s representation in the next Assembly will stagnate

Women far more likely than men to be contesting ‘battleground’ constituencies

Prof Laura McAlister calls on parties to take more action

For immediate release, 25th April 2016

Statement from the Electoral Reform Society Cymru

For more information, quotes or to arrange an interview, contact Josiah Mortimer, ERS Cymru Communications Officer, on 07717211630 or Josiah.Mortimer@electoral-reform.org.uk


 

The number of women in the Assembly will flat-line at this election, risking a ‘stagnating Senedd’ warns the Electoral Reform Society (ERS) Cymru.

In a new report, ‘Women in the National Assembly’ [1], ERS Cymru have analysed all candidates for the upcoming election and their chances of winning, and found two key findings:

  • Women are far more likely than men to be contesting marginal or vulnerable seats at this election. The ERS have identified eleven battleground constituencies that might change hands in 2016. Of the eleven, ten are being defended by women [2]. Men are overwhelmingly defending the 29 constituency ‘safe seats’ outlined – with women defending just eight (28% of the total)
  • The number of women in the next Assembly will flat line – the ERS project that at this election, between 22 (37% of the Senedd) and 28 (45%) women AMs will be elected, compared to 25 (42%) elected in 2011.

The ERS have also found that until this election, 15 seats have never been won by a woman, and of them, nine have never had a female MP. Seven seats after May are likely to have still never had a female AM or MP.

A larger Assembly with more AMs, elected using proportional representation would create more opportunities for women to be elected.  But, in the meantime, ERS Cymru has called on parties to redouble efforts to promote diversity.

The report, which contains a foreword by the University of Liverpool’s Professor Laura McAllister, states that “During the last decade, the National Assembly for Wales and the Welsh Government were world leaders in women’s representation. From 2000-2005 over half of all cabinet ministers, and from 2005-2007 over half of all Assembly Members were women – a global first. But that early promise has stalled and as this report shows, Wales now risks falling back.”

The report outlines four possible scenarios for the result in Wales, drawing on previous elections and current information, as well as data from the Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University.

It follows the launch of the ERS’ Diversity Manifesto last week, ‘A Diverse Democracy: Building a Wales for All’ [3], which recommended:

  1. An increase in the number of AMs as a means of boasting the number of women elected;
  2. Parties to appoint a ‘No Woman Left Behind’ Champion to ensure local government re-organisation doesn’t result in a decrease in the proportion of women councillors and candidates;
  3. Efforts to ensure local government re-organisation doesn’t result in a decrease in the proportion of women councillors and candidates;
  4. Continued funding and support for initiatives like Women Making mA Difference which help women from a range of backgrounds enter public life;
  5. Parties to support the target of standing women in at least 40% of winnable council seats.

Professor Laura McAllister said:

"I've always warned that there's a real vulnerability around Wales and the Assembly's gender balanced status. There has always been limited goodwill about positive action amongst the political parties and a resistant culture around selecting women in key winnable seats.  Without positive and sustained interventions to promote more women, it was always likely that Wales's status as a beacon of political equality would be at risk, as this excellent report demonstrates."

Steve Brooks, Director of ERS Cymru, said:

“This report makes clear that we are at risk of seeing a stagnating Senedd when it comes to women’s representation this May. Whilst some progress is being made by the parties to select women in winnable seats, women are still far more likely than men to contest marginal seats. Of our eleven battleground constituency seats, all bar one are being defended by women; whereas amongst secure constituency seats women are defending just over a quarter.

“Parties need to take action to ensure that women are selected in winnable constituency seats, particularly when sitting AMs retire. But overall, we need a larger Assembly to give space for the diversity of Wales to be represented – and a fair voting system, where women are more likely to be selected.”

ENDS

Notes

For more information, quotes or to arrange an interview, contact Josiah Mortimer, ERS Cymru Communications Officer, on 07717211630 or Josiah.Mortimer@electoral-reform.org.uk

[1] Read the report here (embargoed 00:01, 22nd April):

English: http://electoral-reform.org.uk/sites/default/files/ERS%20Women%20in%20Welsh%20Assembly%20FINAL%20English.pdf

Welsh: http://electoral-reform.org.uk/sites/default/files/ERS%20Women%20in%20Welsh%20Assembly%20FINAL%20Cymraeg.pdf

[2] ERS’ battleground constituencies (defending party in brackets): 

1. Cardiff Central (Labour);

2. Llanelli (Labour)*;

3. Cardiff North (Labour);

4. Carmarthen West & South Pembrokeshire (Conservative);

5. Aberconwy (Conservative);

6. Brecon & Radnorshire (Liberal Democrat);

7. Vale of Glamorgan (Labour);

8. Delyn (Labour);

9. Vale of Clwyd (Labour);

10. Wrexham (Labour);

11. Gower (Labour).

*  Llanelli is the only marginal seat being defended by a man

[3] http://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/sites/default/files/Building-a-Wales-for-all-manifesto.pdf

 

Seddi saff i'r bois?: Merched yn amddiffyn 10 o 11 sedd fwyaf ymylol Cymru

•   Mae ymchwil newydd gan Electoral Reform Society Cymru yn dangos y bydd cynrychiolaeth menywod yn y Cynulliad nesaf aros yn debygol o aros yn ei unfan, neu erydu.

•   Mae menywod yn llawer mwy tebygol na dynion o fod yn ymladd etholaethau sydd ar 'faes y gad' yn yr etholiad.

•   Yr Athro Laura McAlister yn galw ar bleidiau i gymryd mwy o gamau cadarnhaol

25 Ebrill, 2016

Datganiad gan Electoral Reform Society Cymru

Am fwy o wybodaeth, dyfyniadau neu i drefnu cyfweliad, cysylltwch â Josiah Mortimer, ERS Cymru Swyddog Cyfathrebu, ar 07717211630 neu Josiah.Mortimer@electoral-reform.org.uk

Bydd nifer o fenywod yn y Cynulliad yn debygol o aros yn ei unfan neu erydu yn yr etholiad hwn, rhybuddiodd Electoral Reform Society (ERS) Cymru.

Mewn adroddiad newydd, 'Menywod yn y Cynulliad Cenedlaethol' [1], mae ERS Cymru wedi mynd drwy  holl ymgeiswyr ar gyfer yr etholiad sydd i ddod a dadansoddi eu siawns o ennill, a gwelir dau brif ganfyddiad allweddol:

•   Mae menywod yn llawer mwy tebygol na dynion o fod yn ymladd i gadw seddi ymylol yn yr etholiad hwn. Mae'r ERS wedi nodi un ar ddeg o etholaethau sydd ar faes y gad sydd fwyaf tebygol o newid dwylo yn 2016. O'r un ar ddeg, mae deg yn cael eu hamddiffyn gan fenywod [2]. Mae dynion yn llawer fwy tebygol i fod yn amddiffyn yr 29 etholaeth seddi sicr a amlinellwyd - gyda menywod amddiffyn dim ond wyth (28% o'r cyfanswm)

•   Bydd nifer y menywod yn y Cynulliad nesaf yn aros yn ei unfan, neu'n erydu - mae'r ERS yn rhagamcan yn yr etholiad hwn y bydd nifer yr ACau benywaidd sy'n cael eu hethol rhwng 22 (37% o'r Senedd) a 28 (45%), o gymharu â 25 (42%) a etholir yn 2011 ymlaen.

Mae'r ERS wedi darganfod hefyd bod hyd nes yr etholiad hwn, mae 15 sedd etholaethol sydd erioed wedi cael eu hennill gan fenyw, ac o'r rhain, mae 9 sedd sydd erioed wedi cael AS benywaidd yn ogystal. Mae 7 sedd ar ôl mis Mai sy'n debygol o fod yn barhau i gadw'r record hwn o fod erioed wedi cael fenyw ym AC na'n AS.

Mae Cynulliad mwy gyda mwy o ACau, a etholwyd gan ddefnyddio cynrychiolaeth gyfrannol yn creu mwy o gyfleoedd i fenywod gael eu hethol. Ond, yn y cyfamser, ERS Cymru wedi galw ar bleidiau i ddyblu ymdrechion i hyrwyddo amrywiaeth a chydraddoldeb.

Mae'r adroddiad, sy'n cynnwys rhagair gan Yr Athro Laura McAllister o Brifysgol Lerpwl, yn nodi bod "Yn ystod y degawd diwethaf, roedd Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru a Llywodraeth Cymru arweinwyr y byd mewn cynrychiolaeth menywod. O 2000-2005 roedd dros hanner yr holl weinidogion cabinet, ac o 2005-2007 dros hanner yr holl Aelodau'r Cynulliad, yn fenywod - y tro cyntaf i hyn ddigwydd yn y byd oll. Ond mae'r addewid cynnar yma wedi arafu ac fel y dengys yr adroddiad hwn, mae Cymru bellach yn beryg o droi yn ei hôl. "

Mae'r adroddiad yn amlinellu pedair senario posibl ar gyfer y canlyniad yng Nghymru, gan dynnu ar etholiadau blaenorol a gwybodaeth gyfredol, yn ogystal â data gan Ganolfan Llywodraethu Cymru ym Mhrifysgol Caerdydd.

Mae'n dilyn lansiad y ERS 'Maniffesto Amrywiaeth yr wythnos diwethaf,' A Democratiaeth Amrywiol: Creu Cymru i Bawb '[3], a oedd yn argymell:

•   Cynnydd yn nifer yr ACau fel modd o greu cyfle i godi nifer y merched etholedig;

•   Pleidiau i benodi Hyrwyddwr i sicrhau mwy o ferched yn cael eu rhoi ymlaen a na fydd ad-drefnu llywodraeth leol yn arwain at ostyngiad yn y gyfran o gynhorwyr ac ymgeiswyr benywaidd;

•   Ymdrechion pellach i sicrhau na fydd ad-drefnu llywodraeth leol y  arwain at ostyngiad yn y gyfran o gynghorwyr ac ymgeiswyr benywaidd;

•   Parhad cyllid a chefnogaeth ar gyfer mentrau megis Merched yn Gwneud Gwahaniaeth sy'n helpu menywod o amrywiaeth o gefndiroedd i ddod i mewn i bywyd cyhoeddus;

•   Pleidiau i gefnogi'r targed o ferched yn sefyll mewn o leiaf 40% o seddi cyngor enilladwy.

Dywedodd yr Athro Laura McAllister:

"Rydw i eisioes wedi rhybuddio bod yna wendid yn statws cyfartal rhwng y rhywiau yng Nghymru ac yn y Cynulliad. Ar y cyfan, mae ewyllys da y pleidiau tuag at weithredu cadarnhaol wedi bod yn eithaf gwan, a mae yn ddiwylliant sydd a thuedd i gau merched allan o seddi enilladwy allweddol. Heb ymyrraeth gadarnhaol a pharhaus i hyrwyddo mwy o fenywod, mae'n debygol y bydd statws Cymru fel enghraifft o gydraddoldeb gwleidyddol mewn perygl, fel mae'r adroddiad ardderchog yma yn ei ddangos."

Dywedodd Steve Brooks, Cyfarwyddwr ERS Cymru:

"Mae'r adroddiad hwn yn ei gwneud yn glir ein bod mewn perygl o weld erydiad yng nghynrychiolaeth merched yn y Senedd ym mis Mai. Er bod rhywfaint o gynnydd yn cael ei wneud gan y pleidiau i ddewis merched mewn seddi enilliadwy, mae merched yn dal i fod yn llawer mwy tebygol na dynion i ymladd seddi ymylol. O'r un ar ddeg o seddi etholaethol yr ydym yn eu gweld ar faes y gad, dim ond un sydd ddim yn cael ei amddiffyn gan fenyw; tra ymysg seddi etholaethol diogel mae menywod yn amddiffyn dim ond ychydig dros chwarter.

"Mae angen i'r pleidiau gymryd camau i sicrhau bod menywod yn cael eu dewis mewn seddi etholaethol ennilladwy, yn enwedig pan fydd ACau sy'n dal y seddi rheini yn ymddeol. Ond yn gyffredinol, mae angen mwy o faint Cynulliad i roi lle i amrywiaeth Cymru gael ei gynrychioli yn iawn - a system bleidleisio deg a chyfrannol, lle mae menywod yn fwy tebygol o gael eu dewis i gynrychioli eu plaid."

DIWEDD

Nodiadau

Am fwy o wybodaeth, dyfyniadau neu i drefnu cyfweliad, cysylltwch â Josiah Mortimer, ERS Cymru Swyddog Cyfathrebu, ar 07717211630 neu Josiah.Mortimer@electoral-reform.org.uk

[1] Darllenwch yr adroddiad yma (embargo 00:01, 22 Ebrill):

Saesneg: http://electoral-reform.org.uk/sites/default/files/ERS%20Women%20in%20Welsh%20Assembly%20FINAL%20English.pdf

Cymraeg: http://electoral-reform.org.uk/sites/default/files/ERS%20Women%20in%20Welsh%20Assembly%20FINAL%20Cymraeg.pdf

[2] etholaethau ar 'faes y gad' yn ol yr ERS (plaid sy'n amddiffyn mewn cromfachau):

1. Canol Gaerdydd (Llafur);

2. Llanelli (Llafur) *;

3. Gogledd Caerdydd (Llafur);

4. Gorllewin Caerfyrddin a De Sir Benfro (Ceidwadwyr);

5. Aberconwy (Ceidwadwyr);

6. Brycheiniog a Sir Faesyfed (Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol);

7. Bro Morgannwg (Llafur);

8. Delyn (Llafur);

9. Dyffryn Clwyd (Llafur);

10. Wrecsam (Llafur);

11. Gŵyr (Llafur).

* Llanelli yw'r unig sedd ymylol yn cael eu hamddiffyn gan ddyn

[3] http://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/sites/default/files/Building-a-Wales-for-all-manifesto.pdf

 

Campaigners fear low EU ref turnout thanks to ‘toxic cocktail’ of high interest but lack of information

21st April 2016
21 Apr 2016
Tags: 
BMG
BMG Research
polling
EU referendum
Better Referendum

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  • For immediate release, 21st April 2016
  • Statement from the Electoral Reform Society
  • For more information, quotes or to arrange an interview, contact Josiah Mortimer, ERS Communications Officer, on 07717211630 or Josiah.Mortimer@electoral-reform.org.uk

The vast majority of the public are interested in the EU referendum – yet just 23% feel well informed, leading campaigners today to warn of the danger of a low turnout in June.

The polling by BMG Research [1] for the Electoral Reform Society [2] shows that over two-thirds - 68% - of the public say they are interested in the EU referendum (with 32% saying ‘very interested’ and 36% saying they’re ‘interested’).

Yet when asked how informed they feel, the BMG polling released today [3] found that just 7% report feeling ‘very well informed’, with 16% saying they feel ‘well informed’ – meaning under a quarter of people feel like they have a good level of understanding about the June 23rd vote. This is only slightly up on last month’s 16% overall [4].

The research also shows that lack of information could affect the numbers of people who turn out to vote. When asked ‘If you had more information about the main issues surrounding the EU referendum’ 23% said they would be much more likely to vote, while a further 16% said they would be ‘a little more likely to vote’ – showing around four in ten believe having more information would encourage them to turn out.

Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society [5], said:

“This polling shows that contrary to the popular narrative, the public aren’t bored by the EU debate – in fact, there are high levels of interest, with 7 in 10 saying they are following the conversation.

“Yet there is a real desire for balanced information from both sides – under a quarter of people say they have a good level of understanding about the referendum issues. The public feel left in the dark by an EU referendum debate that has so far focused largely on personality politics and internal party spats – more than the actual issues at stake.

“We are at risk of seeing a toxic cocktail of high levels of interest but a lack of balanced information in the debate. And that could lead to a low turnout for the referendum itself. The public need the facts, but all they are seeing so far is Westminster parlour games.

“The fact that a large proportion of the public say that if they had more information they’d be more likely to vote shows that the appetite is there to create a genuinely vibrant and well-informed EU debate.

“We will be launching our ‘Better Referendum’ resource next month, bringing together the arguments from both sides into one place – as well as allowing for extensive online debate, and the ability to organise public events through the website. We want to see the highest-quality debate possible for this crucial vote – the British public deserve no less.”

ENDS

For more information, quotes or to arrange an interview, contact Josiah Mortimer, ERS Communications Officer, on 07717211630 or Josiah.Mortimer@electoral-reform.org.uk

NOTES

[1] http://www.bmgresearch.co.uk/

[2] www.electoral-reform.org.uk/

[3] Polling by BMG Research of residents aged 18+ in United Kingdom. The sample size is 1518 respondents. Cross-tabs available on request.

[4] http://electoral-reform.org.uk/blog/people-feel-left-dark-eu-referendum-debate

[3] A photo of Katie Ghose is available for free use here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/yrtpmyci4vmggcf/Katie%20Ghose%20-%20Credit%20Gus%20Palmer.jpg?dl=0. The ERS’ logo is available for free use here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/co61g3209r2okcd/ERS%20Logo%20colour%20on%20white%20348%20x%20220.jpg?dl=0

The ERS will be releasing more polling on the EU in the coming weeks and months, including on:

  • How well informed voters feel about the upcoming EU referendum
  • How voters have been contacted about the referendum
  • What sources of information have been most important in helping them make their decision
  • How positive/negative voters feel the main campaigns have been
  • Whether the public would be more likely to vote if they had more information

The ERS have five recommendations for the referendum, for:

  • The Remain and Leave campaigns to commit to taking part in televised debates on the EU referendum
  • The campaigns to make voter registration a key plank of their plans
  • The campaigns to support initiatives aimed at giving citizens a chance to debate the issues in more depth, for example by providing speakers for local debates
  • The campaigns to commit to a ‘Ceasefire Week’, where both sides only put out the positive cases for their arguments
  • Media organisations, relevant public bodies and non-governmental organisations to commit to providing balanced coverage of the debate, including clear and comprehensible facts on Britain’s relationship with the EU

Find out more at: http://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/better-referendum

Prof John Curtice: SNP list vote might be “wasted” on May 5th

20th April 2016
20 Apr 2016
Tags: 
John Curtice
SNP
Scottish election
ERS Scotland
May 5th

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Electoral Reform Society publishes landmark report from senior academic

Statement from Electoral Reform Society Scotland

Embargoed until 12.01am, 17th April 2016

For media enquiries, contact Willie Sullivan, ERS Scotland Director, on willie.sullivan@electoral-reform.org.uk, or Professor John Curtice on j.curtice@strath.ac.uk 

Voting SNP in regional vote might be wasted vote.

Current polling shows SNP dominance in constituency vote

Present voting system favours larger parties

Labour and Tories fighting over Unionist votes

Read the report here

 

The Electoral Reform Society has today published a landmark report on the upcoming Scottish Parliamentary election - which suggests that the SNP may secure an even higher proportion of the vote on the list than previously thought.

“The 2016 Scottish Election Briefing: Possibilities and Problems”, written by Professor John Curtice for ERS Scotland analyses all recent polling and applies findings from the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey 2015 to weigh up the likely scenarios and challenges after May 5th.

Willie Sullivan, Director of ERS Scotland said:

“This report presents some major findings ahead of May 5th. The fact that the SNP regional vote may be even stronger than has previously been suggested shows there is a growing predominance of the SNP in Scotland that could potentially stifle other opposition parties [1].

“Politics should contain lots of different voices; something we’ve said in the past when it was Labour dominating Westminster seats in Scotland. It seems the same is now true with the SNP dominant at Westminster under FPTP - and could become even more so the case in Holyrood. 

“The polls show the SNP achieving a majority through the constituency First Past the Post part of the election, and dominating the list vote too. This is a bad sign for smaller parties, and a long way from the rainbow parliament of 2003 which many consider to be the high water mark of multi-party politics in Scotland. In part it comes down to voter behaviour: voters should realise that the list part of the vote is a chance to select what kind of opposition or smaller parties they would like in Parliament.”

Professor John Curtice, Professor of Politics at the University of Strathclyde and Senior Research Fellow at NatCen Social Research, said:

“That would appear to imply that under this scenario many a list vote for the SNP would be ‘wasted’, that is it would fail to contribute towards the election of a MSP.

“Indeed, under our scenario that proves to be case for any regional list vote cast for the SNP anywhere other than in the Highland and Islands region, the only region where the party is projected to win any list seats.

“That this situation could arise in a number of regions, given the SNP’s current standing in the polls, has led to speculation that nationalist supporters might be wise on the second ballot to vote tactically for a different party, such as the Greens or the left-wing RISE grouping, both of which also support independence.

“That way their vote might contribute to the election of another independence supporting MSP rather than apparently be wasted. though this is not. a strategy without risks”

Professor Curtice added:

“Five of the eight polls conducted in February and March also asked people how they had voted in the independence referendum. On average no less than 88% of Yes voters said that they intended to cast their constituency vote for the SNP, while just 17% of No voters did so.”

“Given that so many of their onetime supporters voted Yes in the referendum, this pattern is inevitably bad news for the Labour party. It leaves the party more or less confined to fishing for votes in the waters of unionist voters – and finding itself in competition with the Conservatives in so doing.”

ENDS

Read the report here: http://electoral-reform.org.uk/sites/default/files/files/publication/The-2016-Scottish-Election-Briefing.pdf

Notes

Willie Sullivan and Professor John Curtice are available for interviews (details at the top).

[1] On Wednesday ERS Scotland will be launching a major analysis of the SNP’s predominance in Scotland: “One Party To Rule Them All: Does Scotland Have A Predominant-Party Problem?”. Contact Willie Sullivan for more details.

The report will be launching in Glasgow – full event details here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/one-party-to-rule-them-all-does-scotland-have-a-predominant-party-problem-tickets-24397834580

Campaigners call for reforms to counteract Scotland’s “predominant-party problem”

20th April 2016
20 Apr 2016

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Statement from Electoral Reform Society Scotland

Embargoed 00:01, 20th April 2016

For media enquiries, contact Willie Sullivan, ERS Scotland Director, on willie.sullivan@electoral-reform.org.uk

New ERS Scotland report says both Labour and SNP have benefited from Scotland’s “predominant-party problem”

Report calls for written Scottish constitution, ‘People’s Assembly’ second chamber and elected committee conveners

Call for “self-critical” political culture to be debated at public event on Wednesday

A new report by Electoral Reform Society Scotland says that Labour and the SNP have benefited from a “predominant-party problem” in Scotland, and calls for a range of radical political reforms to “transform our political culture”.

The report, entitled ‘One Party To Rule Them All: Does Scotland Have A Predominant-Party Problem?will be launched on Wednesday at a public event in Glasgow [1], and calls for:

  • A written Scottish constitution, created through a massive public process similar to the independence referendum
  • A ‘People’s Assembly’ second chamber of the Scottish Parliament, selected at random like a jury, with participants given ‘democratic leave’ from work to propose, scrutinise and amend legislation
  • A change in the system of counting parliamentary seats from the “d’Hondt” to the “Saint-Lague” method, which will remove barriers to smaller parties
  • Elected committee conveners in the Scottish Parliament, to ensure committees are less dependent on party patronage
  • Proportional Representation across the United Kingdom, so that the diversity of Scottish opinion can be represented in the Westminster Parliament
  • Introducing and expanding democratic decision-making across society, in policy making, trade unions, businesses, local governance, voluntary, campaigning and media organisations, sports clubs, shared housing and beyond.

These proposals are intended to provide “breathing space” in which an alternative political culture can emerge, beyond what the report suggests is a “defensive” preference for predominant parties which has given both Labour and the SNP overwhelming influence in Scottish politics.

This report follows the launch of ERS Scotland’s ‘2016 Scottish Election Briefing’ by Professor John Curtice [2], which stated that the SNP are likely to dominate both the constituency and the list vote in the upcoming election – with many of the regional votes ‘wasted’, according to Curtice.

Willie Sullivan, Director of ERS Scotland, said:

“This report shows that there’s nothing new about one party ruling the roost in Scotland. Labour were predominant for years, which let them take voters and their future for granted. They got too comfortable to respond properly to massive changes in the world around them in the 1980s and 1990s. If the SNP become too dominant, there’s a risk that our politicians become overly comfortable – and, potentially, secure enough to ignore the next wave of social change. Politics risks become subject to partisan ‘boom and bust’ if one party becomes as dominant as Labour was in the past.

“We hope this report and our proposals can help start a debate about the direction in which Scottish politics is going, and how we can foster a more self-critical and broad range of voices in a parliament designed for diversity. Political openness and the ‘rainbow politics’ of the 2003 Parliament is healthy and, rather than something to be feared, should be welcomed.”

ENDS

Read the report here: http://electoral-reform.org.uk/sites/default/files/One%20Party%20to%20Rule%20Them%20All%20-%20Final.pdf

NOTES

[1] One Party To Rule Them All: Does Scotland Have A Predominant-Party Problem?” will be launched in Glasgow – full event details here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/one-party-to-rule-them-all-does-scotland-have-a-predominant-party-problem-tickets-24397834580

Contact Willie Sullivan for more details – journalists are invited to attend.

[2] Read the 2016 Scottish Election Briefing by Professor John Curtice here: http://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/sites/default/files/files/publication/The-2016-Scottish-Election-Briefing.pdf

 

Politicians from seven parties call for citizens’ say over Britain’s constitution

12th April 2016
12 Apr 2016
Tags: 
Democracy Matters
Citizens' Assembly
report
launch
Parliament

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For immediate release, 12th April 2016

Statement from the Electoral Reform Society on behalf of Democracy Matters

For more information, quotes or to arrange an interview, contact Josiah Mortimer, ERS Communications Officer, on 07717211630 or Josiah.Mortimer@electoral-reform.org.uk


Senior figures from all the main parties are coming together to call for citizens to have a greater say over the constitutional changes sweeping the UK.

The high-profile politicians - including Dominic Grieve MP, Suzanne Evans and Caroline Lucas MP - will be speaking together on Wednesday at the Parliamentary launch of the final report [1] of Democracy Matters, the UK’s first ever ‘Citizens’ Assembly’ on local democracy and devolution [2], funded by the Economic & Social Research Council [3].

The report, Democracy Matters: Lessons from the 2015 Citizens’ Assemblies on English Devolution(link live at 14:00, 12th April) shows a growing appetite among the public to be involved in shaping Britain’s changing democratic make-up – particularly local devolution, which the Electoral Reform Society have criticised for ‘excluding the very people it will affect – local citizens themselves’.

A major conclusion of the report is that ‘citizens are ready, willing and able to take part in participatory and deliberative forms of democracy’.

The report also concludes that ‘Citizens want stronger devolution with more public involvement. They want to feel part of ‘the revolution in devolution’ and not simply to have change imposed upon them.’

The final report being launched is available here from 14:00, 12th April

Event: Wednesday 13th April, 3.30-5pm, Committee Room 2, Palace of Westminster

Journalists are invited to attend the report launch event in Parliament – contact Edward Molloy on Edward.molloy@electoral-reform.org.uk or 02037144071

The speakers on the panel are:

  • Dominic Grieve MP (Conservative)
  • Graham Allen MP (Labour)
  • Tommy Sheppard MP (Scottish National Party)
  • Lord (Paul) Tyler (Liberal Democrat)
  • Jonathan Edwards MP (Plaid Cymru)
  • Suzanne Evans (UKIP)
  • Caroline Lucas MP (Green Party)

Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said: “It is fantastic to see politicians from all the major parties come together to address urgent need to involve the public in the huge democratic changes taking place in the UK.

“English devolution is the biggest shakeup to local democracy for decades – yet voters have been left out of the conversation, unable to shape how their areas are changing. A top-down model for devolution simply won’t last, so this report and event will be central to changing the debate and finally letting the public in.”

Professor Matthew Flinders, Principal Investigator for the Democracy Matters project and Founding Director of the Sir Bernard Crick Centre at the University of Sheffield, said: “Forget the pessimism that usually surrounds public attitudes to politics. What the Democracy Matters project really revealed was a public appetite for opportunities to learn about public policy and to engage with politics. It also revealed the capacity of the internet to deepen and broader democratic engagement and also how 'doing politics differently' can actually be quite fun!”

Dominic Grieve QC, MP for Beaconsfield, said: “I am pleased to be able to take part in the Democracy Matters event. If we are to create a country that responds to the needs of its inhabitants, then we have to listen to what they are saying about the constitutional framework that would best suit them.  The responsibility still lies with politicians to try to craft appropriate solutions, but it is pointless attempting it without an understanding of the breadth of public opinion.” 

Graham Allen, Labour MP for Nottingham North, said: “The people of Britain are crying out for a constitutional convention with people of every party and none participating. Democracy Matters shows that we need millions of founding mothers and fathers to write a democratic settlement ahead of the 2020 Parliament. Let’s get on with it.”

Tommy Sheppard MP, SNP Shadow Spokesperson for the Cabinet Office, said: “An 84.6% turnout in Scotland for our Independence Referendum proved that there is an appetite for political engagement if people feel their vote can actually change things. Citizens’ Assemblies could dramatically improve our democracy if they give people a stake in shaping our society.”

Lord Paul Tyler, Liberal Democrat Lords Principal Spokesperson for Constitutional and Political Reform, said: "For two centuries all political reform has required both popular pressure and national leadership.  A Citizens' Assembly brings them together. And with the present Government supported by less than a quarter of the eligible electorate the need is urgent."

Jonathan Edwards, Plaid Cymru MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, said: “We are living in a time of rapid political change as direct two party Westminster political control over the territory of the UK loosens.  Any political system experiencing rapid change needs to respond to reflect the wishes of the people it serves if it is to survive. I welcome this report as a major step forward in increasing public engagement in how the peoples of the UK are governed.”

Suzanne Evans, UKIP Parliamentary Spokesperson, said: "We need fundamental change to reconnect politics with the public and UKIP in Parliament is fully committed to making that happen. Citizens' Assemblies are a great first step towards embedding new forms of political engagement at both a local and a national level: cutting through the understandable apathy of those who feel their voices aren't being heard is crucial, and when we achieve that, politics can only benefit." 

Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, said: “People are increasingly fed up with Britain’s archaic and undemocratic political system. It’s clear that our constitution needs updating - but that process must not be the sole responsibility of people in power. This project is hugely exciting because it aims to devolve power to local communities, and allow people a real say on the issues which affect their lives.”

ENDS

For more information, quotes or to arrange an interview, contact Josiah Mortimer, ERS Communications Officer, on 07717211630 or Josiah.Mortimer@electoral-reform.org.uk

Notes

[1] The report, Democracy Matters: Lessons from the 2015 Citizens’ Assemblies on English Devolution’, is available from 14:00, 12th April here

[2] Democracy Matters is an Economic and Social Research Council-funded project to hold the UK’s first ever ‘Citizens’ Assemblies’ on local democracy at the end of 2015, in Southampton and Sheffield. Professor Matthew Flinders was the Principal Investigator and led a project team of academics from the University of Sheffield, the University of Southampton, University College London and the University of Westminster and Electoral Reform Society staff who designed and delivered the pilot studies in order to promote renewed civic engagement on crucial constitutional questions such as devolution.

For a full list of academics and organisations involved, see here: http://citizensassembly.co.uk/staff/

Find out more about the Democracy Matters project: http://citizensassembly.co.uk/home-page/about/

[3] To find out more about the ESRC see here: http://www.esrc.ac.uk/

Youth organisations unite to demand Wales’ parties ‘give young people a voice’

7th April 2016
7 Apr 2016

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***Neges Ddwyieithog: Scroliwch Lawr am y Gymraeg // Bilingual Message: Scroll down for Welsh*** An online version of this press release is available here.

  • Statement from Electoral Reform Society Cymru
  • Embargoed 00:01, 7th April 2016
  • For more information, quotes or to arrange an interview, contact Josiah Mortimer, ERS Cymru Communications Officer, on Josiah.mortimer@electoral-reform.org.uk or 07717211630

Campaigners have launched six ‘youth pledges’ they want political parties in Wales to back, ahead of the Welsh Assembly election in just four weeks. 

Youth Promise: Getting Young People Involved in Democracyis Electoral Reform Society Cymru’s call to action for Welsh political parties in the run-up to May 5th.

ERS Cymru are calling for parties to get behind a six key changes AMs can make over the next five years.

The calls are being supported by a range of youth organisations including Youth Cymru and NUS Wales, the two main youth organisations in Wales, as well as Llais Ifanc, Youth Cymru’s Young Leadership Panel, and major UK-wide groups British Youth Council and Bite The Ballot.

The six ‘manifesto asks are for parties to commit to:

  • An independent National Youth Assembly for Wales
  • Extending the vote to 16 and 17 year olds for local and Assembly elections
  • The creation of statutory Youth Mayors and Youth Councils for every local authority in Wales
  • Placing the roles and responsibilities of school councils on a statutory footing
  • Requiring local authorities and educational bodies to work together on voter registration drives
  • Implementing the Donaldson Review’s recommendations for better Citizenship Education

ERS Cymru will be writing to the six main party leaders this week to ask them to back the recommendations.

Steve Brooks, Director of ERS Cymru, said:

“Wales is at risk of a turnout time-bomb if young people continue to be turned away from formal politics. Just 43% of 18-24 year olds voted in the last Westminster election: the gap between engagement in politics between young people and old people is growing, and will only get worse if urgent action isn’t taken.

“These six policies, if implemented, could make a huge difference to youth engagement in politics here in Wales. There is so much that needs to be done, but these would be an incredible start early on in the next Assembly, sending a strong message to young people that their voices matter and will be heard.

“Wales has long needed a proper Youth Assembly like the other nations of the UK, and the creation of youth mayors would go a long way to improving the visibility of young people in politics here.

“The Assembly will soon have the power to give 16 and 17 year olds the vote – something Scotland did last year after the incredible levels of engagement of young people the Scottish referendum. Alongside decent citizenship education, votes at 16 would be a massive boost to young people’s power over their own lives and futures. 

“Strengthening school councils would go a long way to giving students across the country experience of how politics works at a really local level. And there needs to be an enormous cross-organisational effort to get young people on the electoral register here in Wales – so many will be left voiceless if urgent action isn’t taken. Finally, parties need to fully commit to implementing the recent Donaldson review recommendations to give young people in Wales the citizenship education they deserve.

“Taken together, these policies are a recipe for a revolution in youth politics here in Wales, and we hope parties back our calls.”

Ebbi Ferguson, Deputy President NUS Wales said:

“NUS Wales has been campaigning for better representation of young people through political structures. It is not acceptable to say that young people are not engaged in politics, when they don’t have routes through which they can get involved.

“We welcome these asks; they would see young people educated on the role of politics in their lives but of equal importance give them opportunities to participate. Politics needs modernisation if we want to address the apathy that exists towards it.”

Ife Grillo, Vice Chair of the British Youth Council, said:

"Young people care about the world around them and want to be able to shape both their present and future. The British Youth Council believes that every young person in the UK should have their say in decision-making.

“We believe that a devolved national voice for young people in Wales will unify their representation – giving them an equal voice to those in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Empowering young people to have a voice is not just the right thing to do it’s a duty.”

Oliver Sidorczuk, Advocacy Coordinator at Bite The Ballot, said:

“Every young person in Wales deserves to be empowered with the knowledge to help evolve the relationships between individuals, communities and decision-making. And it's for this reason that Bite The Ballot is proud to echo ERS Cymru's calls for inspiring political and citizenship education and targeted, engaging voter registration drives to be placed at the top of Wales' political agenda.

“We're inspiring 16-24 year olds to become active change-makers; responding to calls to action and sharing in the responsibilities, challenges and opportunities of a modern, evolving democracy. If we're going to achieve this, it's vital that young people in Wales make the link between the issues they feel passionate about and politics. That's why we're supporting ERS Cymru's 'Youth Manifesto'.”

Christian Webb, Chair of Youth Cymru’s Youth Leadership Panel Llais Ifanc, said:

“We back these calls because every young person in Wales deserves the chance to have a say on decisions which affect them. They also deserve to be informed by the education system on how decision-making works, and how they can get involved.”

ENDS

Notes

Read ‘Youth Promise’ here: http://electoral-reform.org.uk/sites/default/files/Youth%20Promise%20FINAL_0.pdf

ERS Cymru will be releasing predictions in the coming two weeks predicting the average age of the new Assembly after May, and how many young people will be elected. Contact Josiah Mortimer (details at top) for more information

 

Mudiadau ieuenctid Cymru'n uno i fynnu bod pleidiau'n ‘rhoi llais i bobl ifanc’

  • Datganiad gan Electoral Reform Society Cymru
  • Dan embargo tan 00:01, 7 Ebrill 2016
  • Am fwy o wybodaeth, dyfyniadau neu i drefnu cyfweliad (yn Saesneg), cysylltwch â Josiah Mortimer, Swyddog Cyfathrebu ERS Cymru, drwy e-bostio Josiah.mortimer@electoral-reform.org.uk neu drwy ffonio 07717211630

Yr wythnos hon, bydd ymgyrchwyr yn lansio chwech ‘addewid ieuenctid’ y maent am i bleidiau gwleidyddol yng Nghymru eu cefnogi, cyn etholiad Cynulliad Cymru mewn pedair wythnos yn unig. 

Addewid Ieuenctid: Ennyn Diddordeb Pobl Ifanc mewn Democratiaeth yw galwad ERS Cymru i bleidiau gwleidyddol Cymru weithredu wrth i ni nesáu at 5 Mai.

Mae Electoral Reform Society Cymru yn galw am y pleidiau i gefnogi chwe newid hollbwysig y gall ACau eu gwneud yn ystod y pum mlynedd nesaf.

Cefnogir y galwadau hyn gan ystod o fudiadau ieuenctid gan gynnwys Youth Cymru ac UCM Cymru, y ddau brif fudiad ieuenctid yng Nghymru, yn ogystal â Llais Ifanc, Panel Arweinyddiaeth Ifanc Youth Cymru.  

Mae'r chwe galwad yn gofyn i bleidiau ymrwymo i'r canlynol:

1.     Cynulliad Ieuenctid Cenedlaethol annibynnol i Gymru

2.     Ymestyn y bleidlais i bobl 16 ac 17 oed mewn etholiadau lleol ac etholiadau'r Cynulliad

3.     Creu Meiri Ieuenctid a Chynghorau Ieuenctid statudol ym mhob awdurdod lleol yng Nghymru

4.     Gosod rolau a chyfrifoldebau cynghorau ysgol ar sail statudol

5.     Gorfodi awdurdodau lleol a chyrff addysgol i gydweithio ar ymdrechion i gofrestru pleidleiswyr

6.     Rhoi argymhellion Adolygiad Donaldson am well Addysg Dinasyddiaeth ar waith

Bydd ERS Cymru'n ysgrifennu at arweinwyr y chwe phrif blaid yr wythnos hon i ofyn iddynt gefnogi'r argymhellion.

Meddai Steve Brooks, Cyfarwyddwr ERS Cymru:

“Mae Cymru'n wynebu risg hir-dymor o ran y nifer sy'n troi allan i bleidleisio os yw pobl ifanc yn parhau i gael eu hallgau o wleidyddiaeth ffurfiol. Dim ond 43% o bobl 18-24 oed bleidleisiodd yn yr Etholiad Cyffredinol diwethaf: mae'r bwlch rhwng diddordeb pobl ifanc a hen bobl mewn gwleidyddiaeth yn tyfu, ac ni all ond gwaethygu os na fydd yna weithredu brys.

“Gallai'r chwe pholisi yma, pe caent eu gweithredu, wneud gwahaniaeth mawr yng nghyfranogiad ieuenctid mewn gwleidyddiaeth yma yng Nghymru. Mae yna gymaint sydd angen ei wneud, ond byddai'r camau hyn yn ffordd wych o ddechrau tymor nesaf y Cynulliad, gan anfon neges gref at bobl ifanc bod eu lleisiau'n bwysig a chânt eu clywed.

“Mae Cymru wedi bod angen Cynulliad Ieuenctid ers amser maith fel gwledydd eraill y DU, a byddai creu meiri ieuenctid yn mynd gryn lawer o'r ffordd o ran gwella gwelededd pobl ifanc mewn gwleidyddiaeth yma.

“Yn fuan, bydd gan y Cynulliad rym i roi'r bleidlais i bobl 16 ac 17 oed – rhywbeth a wnaeth yr Alban llynedd yn dilyn lefel anhygoel o gyfranogiad gan bobl ifanc yn refferendwm yr Alban. Ynghyd ag addysg dinasyddiaeth go iawn, byddai cael pleidlais yn 16 yn rhoi hwb enfawr i rym pobl ifanc dros eu bywyd a'u dyfodol eu hunain. 

“Byddai cryfhau cynghorau ysgol yn mynd ymhell o ran rhoi profiad i fyfyrwyr ledled y wlad o sut mae gwleidyddiaeth yn gweithredu ar lefel leol iawn. Ac mae angen cael ymdrech traws-fudiadol i annog pobl ifanc i fod ar y gofrestr etholiadol yma yng Nghymru – felly bydd llawer heb lais oni cheir gweithredu brys. Yn olaf, mae angen i bleidiau ymrwymo'n llawn i roi argymhellion Adolygiad Donaldson ar waith er mwyn rhoi'r addysg dinasyddiaeth maent yn ei haeddu i bobl ifanc yng Nghymru.

“Gyda'i gilydd, mae'r polisïau hyn yn ffordd o greu chwyldro yng ngwleidyddiaeth ieuenctid yma yng Nghymru, ac rydyn ni'n gobeithio bod pleidiau'n cefnogi ein galwadau.”

Meddai Ebbi Ferguson, Dirprwy Lywydd UCM Cymru:

“Mae UCM Cymru wedi bod yn ymgyrchu dros well cynrychiolaeth o bobl ifanc drwy strwythurau gwleidyddol. Mae'n annerbyniol dweud nad oes gan bobl ifanc ddiddordeb mewn gwleidyddiaeth pan does dim ffyrdd ganddyn nhw o gyfranogi.

Rydym yn croesawu'r gofynion hyn a fyddai'n arwain at addysg i bobl ifanc ynglŷn â rôl gwleidyddiaeth yn eu bywyd ond, yr un mor bwysig, rhoi cyfleoedd iddynt i gymryd rhan. Mae angen moderneiddio ar wleidyddiaeth os ydyn ni am fynd i'r afael â'r broblem o ddiffyg diddordeb sy'n bodoli.”

Meddai Christian Webb, Cadeirydd Llais Ifanc, Panel Arweinyddiaeth Ieuenctid Youth Cymru:

“Rydym yn cefnogi'r galwadau hyn oherwydd mae pob person ifanc yng Nghymru'n haeddu cyfle i roi eu barn ar y penderfyniadau sy'n effeithio arnyn nhw. Hefyd, maen nhw'n haeddu cael gwybod gan y system addysg sut mae'r broses benderfynu'n gweithio a sut mae modd iddynt gyfranogi.”

DIWEDD

Nodiadau

http://electoral-reform.org.uk/sites/default/files/Youth%20Promise%20FINAL_0.pdf

Bydd ERS Cymru'n rhyddhau rhagolygon yn ystod y pythefnos nesaf o ran cyfartaledd oedran aelodau'r Cynulliad newydd ar ôl Mai, a faint o bobl ifanc gaiff eu hethol. Cysylltwch â Josiah Mortimer (ceir manylion uchod) am fwy o wybodaeth.

ERS Cymru welcome Plaid commitment to PR, votes at 16 and youth engagement

5th April 2016
5 Apr 2016

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Campaigners react to Plaid Cymru pledges on democratic reform

Statement from Electoral Reform Society Cymru

For immediate release, 05/04/2016

For more information, quotes or to arrange an interview, contact Josiah Mortimer, ERS Cymru Communications Officer, on Josiah.mortimer@electoral-reform.org.uk or 07717211630

Electoral Reform Society Cymru have welcomed Plaid Cymru’s commitment to back votes at 16, setting up a Welsh Youth Parliament, and major reform to how the Assembly and local councils are elected.

Plaid Cymru’s new manifesto has committed the party to extending the vote to 16 and 17 year olds and reforming Wales’ voting system by introducing the Single Transferable Vote. The party will also look at e-voting, and support strengthening the citizenship curriculum, establishing a youth parliament and increasing the number of AMs. All these featured in ERS Cymru’s recent ‘Breathing New Life Into Politics’ manifesto.

Steve Brooks, Director of ERS Cymru, said:

“It’s great to see Plaid Cymru have backed all of our main recommendations from our recent Democracy manifesto [1], calling for proportional representation for local elections and votes at 16 among a wide range of other positive changes.

“Over the next five years, the Assembly will gain new powers over elections in Wales, offering political parties an important opportunity to breathe new life into our democracy.

“We warmly welcome Plaid Cymru’s re-statement of its support a fairer electoral system and votes at 16, and the party’s pledge to look at how electronic voting might work in Wales. 

“We’re looking forward to what the other parties have to say, but the important thing is that when the dust settles after the election, everyone in the new Assembly works together to revitalise our democracy and give the people of Wales the kind of politics they deserve”

ENDS

Notes

On Thursday ERS Cymru will be releasing its ‘Youth Promise’ – policy ‘asks’ to all the main parties in Wales – to strengthen young people’s engagement in democracy in the next Assembly. Contact Josiah Mortimer (details above) for more information.

[1] Read ‘Breathing New Life Into Politics’ here: http://electoral-reform.org.uk/sites/default/files/Breathing-New-Life-Into-Politics-Adfyio-Ein-Gwleidyddiaeth.pdf

Blog here: http://electoral-reform.org.uk/blog/breathing-new-life-welsh-politics

New poll shows ‘generation gap’ in EU referendum debate, warn campaigners

4th April 2016
4 Apr 2016

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Statement from the Electoral Reform Society, 3rd April 2016

For more information, quotes or to arrange an interview, contact Josiah Mortimer, ERS Communications Officer on 07717211630 or Josiah.mortimer@electoral-reform.org.uk

The Electoral Reform Society are warning of a ‘worrying generation gap’ in the public’s interest in the EU referendum, as new polling by BMG Research [1] released today shows that young people are far less engaged in the referendum debate as older voters.

Just 21% of 18-24 year olds say they are ‘very interested’ in the EU referendum, compared to 47% of those 65 or older, according to polling by BMG [2] commissioned by the ERS. The figure rises to 26% for 25-34 year olds, compared to 32% of 55-64 year olds.

Only 44% of 18-24 year olds say they are certain to vote on June 23rd, compared to 76% of those 65 or older, according to the new polling.

58% of people overall say they will ‘definitely vote’ in the EU referendum, according to BMG Research, while another 15% say they will ‘probably’ vote.

However, when asked if they would be more likely to vote if they had more information, 29% of 18-24 year olds said they’d be ‘much more likely’ to vote, and 27% ‘a little more likely’ – 56% overall. That compares with only 39% of the general public saying they’d be more likely to vote if they had more information, leading the ERS to call for the campaigns and media to ‘reach out beyond Westminster’.

The polling for the ERS also showed a major socioeconomic divide, with 36% of professional ABC1 respondents saying they are ‘very interested’ in the referendum compared to just 27% of more working-class C2DE respondents. Overall, 76% of ABC1 respondents said they are interested compared to just 59% of the C2DE demographic.

Commenting on the findings, Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society [3], said:

“That more than double the number of older voters say they are very interested in the EU referendum compared to 18-24 year olds highlights a deeply concerning generation gap in this debate. It seems like young people haven’t been engaged in a debate which has so far focused on personalities rather than the real issues which affect them.

“Not only do young people feel less interested, but they are, as we know, far less likely to vote. This poll shows that there is an enormous 32 percentage point difference between the number of 18-24 year olds and voters over the age of 65 in terms of how likely they are to vote.

“We know that this is likely to be a once-in-a-lifetime vote for most people – the last referendum was in 1975 – so it’s all the more important young people who will be most affected by this decision in years to come turn out. This will take effort – just 43% of 18-24 year olds voted in last year’s General Election [4] – but it is vital.

“Overwhelmingly, young people say if they had more information, they would be more likely to vote – 56%, compared to 39% of the public overall, and 26% of those aged 65+.

“On top of that there is a large and worrying socioeconomic divide, with a 17 percentage point chasm between socioeconomic backgrounds, with wealthier voters much more likely to feel engaged in the debate.

“We need to do everything we can to make sure everyone is involved in this huge democratic decision, which will affect all of us. The campaigns and the media clearly need to reach out far wider in targeting a wider range of the public – from young people to economically marginalised groups. “The British public deserve a real debate, and this polling shows the stark need to do everything we can to make sure this referendum isn’t decided by a select few but by the whole country.

“Let’s open up this referendum out of the Westminster bubble and into communities around the UK, so that the public truly have faith in the result.”

ENDS

Notes

The ERS will be releasing more polling on the EU in the coming weeks and months, including on:

  • How well informed voters feel about the upcoming EU referendum
  • How voters have been contacted about the referendum
  • What sources of information have been most important in helping them make their decision
  • How positive/negative voters feel the main campaigns have been
  • Whether the public would be more likely to vote if they had more information

For more information, quotes or to arrange an interview, contact Josiah Mortimer, ERS Communications Officer on 07717211630 or Josiah.mortimer@electoral-reform.org.uk

[1] Polling by BMG Research of residents aged 18+ in United Kingdom. The sample size is 1518 respondents, with fieldwork conducted between the 24th and 29th February. Cross-tabs available on request.

[2] http://www.bmgresearch.co.uk/

[3] A photo of Katie Ghose is available for free use here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/yrtpmyci4vmggcf/Katie%20Ghose%20-%20Credit%20Gus%20Palmer.jpg?dl=0. The ERS’ logo is available for free use here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/co61g3209r2okcd/ERS%20Logo%20colour%20on%20white%20348%20x%20220.jpg?dl=0

[4] https://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/3575/How-Britain-voted-in-2015.aspx?view=wide