Contingency plans for European Parliamentary elections

Friday April 5th 2019

Polling Stations

Written by Midlothian View editor, Phil Bowen

With the uncertainty over Brexit continuing and as the likelihood of the UK taking part in European Parliamentary on 23d May increases, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, David Lidington, has this week informed Returning Officers to make contingency plans.

He said:

“Whilst the Government’s position is that it remains the intention for the UK to leave the EU with a deal and not take part in the European Parliamentary Elections in May, I agree it is important that Returning Officers and electoral administrators should be able to plan effectively to deliver national polls which are well-run and fair, and seen to be so.

“I am able to confirm that Cabinet Office will reimburse reasonable spending by Returning Officers on contingency preparations for European Parliament Elections.”

Subsequently the Electoral Management Board for Scotland has issued contingency planning advice to Returning Officers including:

– Count and Polling Place/Polling Station venues are, at a minimum, provisionally booked;

– Election staff are identified, and their availability checked;

– Contingency printing contracts are in place

A Midlothian Council spokesperson told Midlothian View

“Dr Grace Vickers, Local Returning Officer for Midlothian has, accordingly, made the above contingency arrangements as advised by the Electoral Management Board. Provisional arrangements are being made for premises, including schools, to be made available if an election is called.”

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