La Treizième Étoile: 13/05/12 - 20/05/12 Blog Archives
News from the European Union with a focus on the South West UK and Gibraltar region and its MEPs
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Location announced: South West avoids People's Pledge EU referendum poll

Saturday, 19 May 2012
As discussed in my previous post, the South West could have been home to the second referendum poll on EU membership being organised by campaign group People’s Pledge as 13 triplets of three Parliamentary constituencies, three of those triplets in the region, had shortlisted as potential locations.

However, the announcement was made yesterday that this is not the case and the next poll would be held in the North West: Cheadle, Hazel Grove and Manchester Withington.

Intriguingly, while the North West is currently represented in the European Parliament by eight MEPs of all political persuasions (3 Conservative, 2 Labour, 1 Liberal Democrat, 1 UKIP and 1 BNP), the three sitting MPs whose constituents will be polled are all Liberal Democrats.

Registered voters in those three constituencies will be polled by postal ballot ending on July 19. Another strong 80%+ result will be minimum expected result else they have chosen their triplet rather ineffectively.

The South West could be next location for People’s Pledge poll on EU membership

Tuesday, 15 May 2012
The South West could be the next location for the second publicity stunt referendum on EU membership being organised by a campaign group called People’s Pledge, the result of which will aim to further pressure the Government into holding a national poll on the same question.

The group are planning a second poll on the back of their “
huge successin the constituency of Thurrock last month where 90% of those who participated in the referendum poll conducted by postal vote called for a referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union. (NB: turnout was 30.39% (14,590) and the Thurrock constituency was specifically chosen so less than a ‘huge success’ would have represented a monumental failure)

The campaign has announced a shortlist of 39 seats, grouped in 13 contiguous triples, from different regions. “Geography, logistics, politics, psephology, and extent of existing support for the People’s Pledge, were all factors,reads a statement on their website.

Three of those ‘triplets’ of Westminster constituencies are located in the South West. These are:
  • Bristol East, Bristol North West, Kingswood
  • Camborne & Redruth, St Ives, Truro & Falmouth
  • Cornwall North, Devon North, Torridge & West Devon

Eight of those nine sitting MPs potentially affected by such a vote are part of the current Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government (five Tory, three Lib Dem).

Their inclusion in the shortlist is hardly surprising in light of an opinion poll released last year that showed nearly 70 per cent across the region want an "in-out" vote. According to the South West Poll, carried out by Devon-based Marketing Means, 35% of those questioned "strongly agree" there should be a referendum on EU membership, 34% "agree" about the need for a vote, while the remainder of those polled either disagree (10 %), strongly disagree (7%) or don't know (%14).

One triplet will be chosen in the next few days, with a polling date set for late July. Once the location is chosen, the campaign will be full by-election style and include: a high visibility local shop front headquarters, door-to-door canvassing, posters and other external media, several leaflet drops, street stalls, public meetings and other events.

Frankly it would be most disappointing if the next such poll is to be held in the South West. As stated on numerous occasions by the UK Government (both parties), now is simply not the right time for an ‘In/Out’ referendum on our membership of the EU which let us not forget continues to bring numerous benefits to the region and country.

Last election:

Click here to see which six MEPs were elected.