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European Parliament (Elections)

Volume 407: debated on Monday 23 June 2003

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To ask the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs whether the 2004 European Parliamentary elections will continue to be counted at a constituency level, before being aggregated regionally; and if she will make a statement. [119766]

As announced on 6 May 2003, and subject to parliamentary approval, we intend to use the powers currently being sought in the Local Government Bill to move the date of the English local elections in 2004 to 10 Juneā€”the same day as the European Parliamentary elections. For this reason, and following informal consultations with the Electoral Commission, electoral administrators and the political parties, we have concluded that the sub-administrative unit for conducting the European Parliamentary elections (including the count) in Great Britain in 2004 should be the local authority area rather than the parliamentary constituency.

To ask the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs what plans the Government has to amend existing election regulations relating to the 2004 European Parliamentary elections; and if she will make a statement. [119767]

We intend in due course to bring forward for parliamentary approval revised regulations for the conduct of the European Parliamentary elections in 2004. These will take account of changes to electoral legislation since the existing regulations took effect, together with recommendations made in the Home Office review of the 1999 elections. We are also considering whether any further changes to the regulations need to be made. The regulations will be published in draft form before they are laid before Parliament.