Call for views on the Scottish Elections (Franchise and Representation) Bill

The Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee is seeking views on the Scottish Elections (Franchise and Representation) Bill.

Please note that in most cases your written submission will be published on the Scottish Parliament’s website and may be quoted in the Committee’s report or in Committee meetings (which are public and broadcast).

If you wish to request that your submission be published without your name, please contact us at [email protected] or on 0131 348 6924.

Before making a submission, please read our privacy notice about submitting your views to a Committee Privacy Notice. This tells you about how we process your personal data.

Focus of the Committee’s inquiry on the Scottish Elections (Franchise and Representation) Bill

The Scottish Government introduced the Scottish Elections (Franchise and Representation) Bill on 20 June 2019. The Bill and its accompanying documents are available here.

The Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee (the SPPA Committee) was designated as lead committee by the Parliamentary Bureau on 25 June 2019.

This call for evidence seeks views on the Bill. The Committee would like to invite views on whether the proposed legislation will help to increase participation by extending the franchise and the right to stand as a candidate in the Scottish Parliament and local government elections in Scotland.

In addition, the SPPA Committee would welcome views on any of the following changes proposed in the Bill to the electoral franchise and candidacy rights for Scottish Parliament and local government elections in Scotland:

  • Extending the electoral franchise for Scottish Parliament and local government elections to citizens of other countries with a legal right to live in the UK and who are resident in Scotland (section 1);
  • Allowing all foreign nationals with an indefinite leave to remain in the UK and who are registered as an elector in Scotland to stand as candidates in devolved elections and hold office following those elections (sections 2 and 3);
  • Extending the franchise in Scottish Parliament and local government elections to convicted prisoners sentenced to terms of 12 months or less (section 4);
  • The proposal for determining the uninterrupted or notional residence of convicted prisoners in prison (sections 5 and 6); and
  • The proposal that convicted prisoners will only be able to vote by proxy or by postal vote.

Your response does not need to cover all of the areas identified above and can just focus on those that are relevant to you or your organisation. Also, you are welcome to provide other information that you feel would be relevant.

How to submit evidence

If possible, we would be grateful if you could keep your submission to a maximum of 4 sides of A4.

We welcome written views in English, Gaelic, Scots or any other language. Due to the time required to process and analyse evidence, late submissions will only be accepted with the agreement of the Committee.

Written responses should be sent electronically to the following address:

[email protected] 

The deadline for responses is 6 September 2019.

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