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The seminar on voter turnout held on 4 June 2010 was organised jointly by the Scottish Parliament’s Local Government and Communities Committee and the Scottish Government due to the concerns that the Committee members and the Minister for Parliamentary Business have about turnout levels in Scotland.

Following the high number of spoilt ballots at the 2007 Scottish Parliament and local authority elections, the Committee undertook an inquiry to consider the report of the Independent Review of the Scottish Parliamentary and Local Government Elections led by Ron Gould. In the course of this inquiry and during the Committee’s consideration of the Scottish Local Government (Elections) Bill, the Committee recognised that more work was needed on the wider issues of voter engagement and low turnout and decided to organise the seminar on voter turnout with the Scottish Government.

The programme for the voter turnout seminar on 4 June 2010 was:

10.00am    Welcome and Opening Address – Alasdair Morgan MSP, Deputy Presiding Officer (Debating Chamber)

10.05am    Views from the Committee – Duncan McNeil MSP, Convener of the Local Government and Communities 


10.15am    Views from the Government – Bruce Crawford MSP, Minister for Parliamentary Business

10.25am    Keynote speaker Learning from Experience: Domestic and International Perspectives, Dr Robert Johns,

                 University of Strathclyde

10.50am    Discussion Sessions

                 Discussion Session 1 – Turnout figures and trends - Chair - Bob Doris MSP, Discussant Sir John Arbuthnott

                 Discussion Session 2 – Civic  participation – Chair - Mary Mulligan MSP, Discussant Stuart Moir

                 Discussion Session 3 – Voter registration and increasing turnout - Chair - Jim Tolson MSP, Discussant 

                 Sarah Mackie

12.15pm    Feedback and Open Forum (Debating Chamber)

1.00pm     Closing remarks – Bruce Crawford MSP, Minister for Parliamentary Business and Duncan McNeil MSP,

                 Convener of the Local Government and Communities Committee

A transcript of the proceedings in the Debating Chamber was produced by the Scottish Parliament’s Official Report.

You can also view the Voter Turnout Seminar proceedings.


      Debating Chamber session participants                                                      Local Government and Communities Committee Convener         

      Dr Robert Johns, University of                                                           Duncan McNeil MSP, Convener of

      Strathclyde, delivering his speech                                                     the Local Government and Communities

      in the Debating Chamber                                                                  Committee


      Minister for Parliamentary Business                                                     Question and answer session in the Debating Chamber

      Bruce Crawford MSP, Minister for                                                     Members of the Local Government

      Parliamentary Business                                                                  and Communities Committee and

                                                                                                          discussion group speakers

Completed Business of the committee