Some are trying to get up a petition to invalidate the 2016 EU Referendum and set minimum thresholds of 75% voter turnout and 60% of votes cast.
This would have invalidated the original (EC) 1975 Referendum, where only 67.23% of eligible voters took part. If the proposed principle is to hold, we should already have been out of the EC/EU for over 40 years.
Requiring that level of turnout would also have invalidated the last 5 General Elections:
But there is one vote that we might reconsider: the 2011 Alternative Vote Referendum. The turnout in this was 42.2%, the lowest in national votes by a long way. The media campaign leading up to it was heavily biased and the two largest political parties solidly against AV.
Let's look at the implications for parties and MPs.
52% of EU Referendum voters have just chosen "Leave" but the BBC says:
- 80% of the ruling Conservative Cabinet are "Remain"
- Of those MPs who declared their position (537 out of 650), 71% (379) are "Remain"
As with the EU, the democratic deficit is structural: in the last two General Elections, two-thirds of MPs got their seats on the basis of a minority of votes cast. The way we elect our Members of Parliament is so skewed that no-one should be surprised at how badly Westminster is disconnected from the people.
There is no point in freeing ourselves from EU control if Parliament remains unreformed. If we're going to re-run a referendum, let it be the one on AV.
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