Polling station

Assembly warns of the perfect election storm

03 August 2016

In 2020, London may have to juggle its own elections at the same time as a general election – something the London Assembly Election Review Panel says could be a perfect storm of election complications for Londoners.

The May 2016 Mayor of London and London Assembly elections saw a turnout of 46 per cent – the highest ever for a London election.  The implications of a general election and the London elections on the same day represent a huge challenge and a major resourcing issue.

It will make the whole process of planning, preparing and implementing the election more complex given the scale and the different types of election methodology which apply.

So what’s the plan for 2020?   

 

Election Review Panel Chair, Len Duvall AM said:

“The London elections are the most complex in the UK.  They involve 4 votes, 3 ballot papers, 3 voting systems, 8 million votes, the distribution of 6 million information booklets, 4000 polling stations, the coordination of 12,000 staff and a budget of £18 million over 4 years.

If the general election is to happen at the same time as the London elections, we need to know now. These things take years to coordinate.  Contracts need to be procured, plans take 2-3 years to put in place and a ‘wait and see’ attitude is not an option.

The government needs to make a call. Are we running both elections at the same time, or are we rescheduling the London elections, to avoid a perfect storm of confusion for voters? The call has to be made and it has to be made within the next 6 months. We need a decision soon.”

 

Also at the meeting, Andrew Dismore AM raised his concerns about the conduct of elections in Barnet. View the full meeting via webcast.

Notes to editors

  1. Watch the webcast
  2. Len Duvall AM, Chair of the Election Review Panel, is available for interview – see contact details below.
  3. Election Review Panel
  4. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.

For media enquiries, please contact Alison Bell on 020 7983 4228.  For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officer.  Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.