NOTA campaign gets massive boost from parliamentary select committee!

On 05/02/15, the parliamentary Political & Constitutional Reform Committee (PCRC) published its report into ‘voter engagement’ in which it recommends a whole slew of genuinely quite radical (by UK standards!) electoral reforms to be implemented during the next parliament. The full report can be downloaded here.

Here’s what they had to say about NOTA, as a result of NOTA UK’s lobbying and public engagement with the committee:

“Having the option to vote for “none of the above” on the ballot paper is the proposal which has had the largest support among those who have given their views to the surveys we have drawn upon. This change would enable people to participate at elections even if they did not wish to vote for any of the candidates presented. If large numbers of people did choose to cast their vote in this way it would serve as a wakeup call for candidates and parties that they needed to do more to gain the support of the electorate. We recommend that the Government consult on including, on ballot papers for national elections, an option for voters who wish to participate but not vote for any of the candidates presented, and report to the House on this proposal by May 2016.”

This really is a huge leap forward for us. Although the committee has stopped short of including NOTA as one of its recommended immediate reforms, it has explicitly stated that it believes that the demand for NOTA and the potential positive effects on voter engagement of having it means that the next government must hold a public consultation on the issue.

Although this is slightly less than we could have hoped for, it is still a huge achievement when you consider that a year ago the mere mention of NOTA in the corridors of power was likely to be met with derision and a cold shoulder.

The PCRC survey mentioned above, in which we were able to get them to publish a question about inclusion of NOTA as a reform in and of itself regardless of whether voting is made compulsory or not, is very telling. This question got the second most responses (15,840), beaten only by the question about compulsory voting (16,095).

A whopping 71.8% of respondents to our question voted ‘yes’ to NOTA.

I think it’s fair to say we have now successfully put NOTA on the map, a key aim of this campaign from the beginning five years ago. There’s a long way to go of course. But no-one can say we aren’t getting the arguments heard and moving in the right direction.

A massive thank you to everyone who took part in the consultation and to all our facebook, twitter, youtube and website followers for your continued support in our efforts to make UK democracy fit for purpose.

Onwards & Upwards!
Jamie Stanley

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10 thoughts on “NOTA campaign gets massive boost from parliamentary select committee!

  1. Andy Wood February 9, 2015 at 11:44 Reply

    How about also working for proportional Representation?


    • theapathymyth February 9, 2015 at 22:56 Reply

      Hi Andy. In order for our campaign to be effective, we feel it is crucial that it remains a single issue campaign. The reason we feel NOTA should be the priority above all other possible reforms is that it can be shown to be a democratic pre-requisite that cannot be argued against without arguing against the concept of democracy itself (once it is properly understood). It is therefore achievable, as no government can ever be seen to be anti-democratic. By contrast, all other reforms are seen as merely desirable so all the while those calling the shots have nothing to gain from them, they can be paid lip service to and roundly ignored. Logically speaking, therefore, NOTA has to be the ground zero of electoral reform as it would be achievable in the short to mid term, whereas none of the others are. Once in place, further democratic reform ought naturally to follow.


  2. Mark Catlin February 10, 2015 at 10:12 Reply

    Reblogged this on markcatlin3695's Blog.


  3. […] parliamentary select committee for Political & Constitutional Reform (PCRC) were compelled to explicitly state in their recent report on increasing voter engagement that the next government should hold a public […]


  4. […] now and May 2016 to lobby the next government hard to make NOTA a reality. (More on that here:… […]


  5. […] & Constitutional Reform Committee (PCRC) felt compelled to explicitly recommend in its final report, published in February, that the next government consult before May 2016 specifically on the issue […]


  6. […] committee for Political & Constitutional Reform (PCRC) felt compelled to recommend in its final report on increasing ‘voter engagement’ (published in February 2015) that the next government […]


  7. […] committee for Political & Constitutional Reform (PCRC) felt compelled to recommend in its final report on increasing ‘voter engagement’ (published in February 2015) that the next government […]


  8. dai777 May 26, 2015 at 13:07 Reply

    Total Votes cast = 30,697,835
    Total Electrate = 46,424,006

    46,424,006 – 30,697,835 = 15,726,171

    15,726,171 is 33.8% of the electorate making them the second biggest block of voters/non voters, beating labour on 30.4%.


  9. […] to its consultation on ‘voter engagement’, the PCRC felt compelled to recommend in its February 2015 report that the next government consult before May 2015 solely on inclusion of NOTA on ballot papers. This […]


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