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Decoupling Elections

UNISON Scotland's response to the Scottish Government Consultation on decoupling the Scottish Parliamentary and local government elections

May 2008


UNISON Scotland welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Scottish Government Consultation on decoupling elections. UNISON is Scotland's largest public sector trade union representing over 160,000 members delivering public services. Our members have a direct citizenship interest in this issue as well as in ensuring strong democratically accountable public bodies.

Questions for consideration

Do you agree that the elections should be decoupled?

Yes. UNISON Scotland has a long standing position in favour of decoupling parliamentary and local government elections and we supported a previous Non-Executive Bill on this issue. We would argue that by holding elections on the same day the role of local government is devalued.

When should the next set of local government elections be held?

We favour Option 3 in the consultation paper that local government elections are held one year after the Scottish Parliament elections, always assuming that the Parliament runs its full term. We would have no objection to Option 4 although we recognise the administrative challenges that may cause for our members involved in the administration of elections.

What issues or problems do you envisage encountering by moving the elections to any of the options outlined and what solutions would you suggest?

By holding the elections one year on local government is less likely to be overshadowed by parliamentary issues. One year on has the added advantage that it is less likely to be affected by a mid term protest vote or any perceived ‘honeymoon' period for a new Scottish Government.


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For Further Information Please Contact:

Matt Smith, Scottish Secretary
14, West Campbell Street,
Glasgow G2 6RX

Tel 0846 355 0845 Fax 0141 342 2835

e-mail matt.smith@unison.co.uk

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