In the News

Electoral Commission decide which groups will lead the 2 sides of the EU membership referendum campaign

Jonny Clark

14th April 2016

Yesterday the Electoral Commission (a public regulator of elections, referendums and party finances) made a decision on which group would lead each side of the campaign for June's EU membership referendum in the UK. 'Vote Leave Ltd' have won the right to run the campaign persuading people to vote to leave the EU whilst 'The In Campaign Ltd' won the right to campaign to remain within the EU. On initial viewing, this process may seem less democratic - why would one public body make a decision which reduces the number of representative organisations?

Ultimately, the policy is in place in the UK in an attempt to increase the opportunity for a fair vote. By designating one group for each side of the debate, that group will then receive the same amount of public funding (approximately £6m), the funding for the publishing of a leaflet and a television broadcast. It is an attempt to ensure that the availability of cash sponsorship is not the deciding factor with regards to published campaign materials (if you ignore the Government's pro-EU leaflet!). The Electoral Commission made its decision based upon its research that suggested that each winning group had the best facilities and represented the widest group in terms of backgrounds and political beliefs.

The 'Vote Leave Ltd' group, spearheaded by some prominent Conservative and Labour MPs won the right over the 'The Go Movement Ltd' (primarily supported by UKIP). The In Campaign Ltd were not challenged but the Electoral Commission still had to make a decision as to whether the organisation was fit to receive the public funding.

Jonny Clark

Jon Clark has been teaching economics and business studies for over 25 years primarily in the Further Education sector. Before joining tutor2u, he was a senior manager at South Cheshire College in Crewe.

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