What is a Referendum?
A referendum is when voters are asked a question by the government and voters are usually are required to vote "Yes" or "No" to accept or reject that question. They provide a clear answer to a question the government is 'asking'. Referendums are conducted in the same way as elections, by using ballot papers on which you mark your choice.
There are currently no scheduled referendums.
Referendums are relatively rare.
- 7 June 1975 (UK wide) the Referendum asked whether the UK should stay in the Common Market.
- 11 September 1997 (Scotland) A referendum asked whether there should be a Scottish Parliament (74.3% agreed) and whether Scotland should have tax-varying powers (63.5% agreed). More information can be found on the Scottish Government website.
- 5 May 2011 (UK wide) the coalition government held a referendum to decide whether future general elections for the UK Parliament should be conducted under the Alternative Vote (AV) instead of the system of First-past-the-post. The proposal to introduce AV was rejected with 68% voting 'No' against 32% voting 'Yes'.
- 18 September 2014 (Scotland) a Scottish Independence Referendum was held. The referendum asked whether Scotland should be an independent country. The official result of the Scottish Independence Referendum across Scotland was: Yes 1,617,989 (44.5 %) / No 2,001,926 (55.5%) Turnout 84.6%. Local results in Moray can be found here.
- 5 June 2016 (UK wide) a referendum on the UK's membership in the European was held. UK results can be found here.
General information about referendums can be found on The Electoral Commission website.