The UK government has rejected calls for a common voting day for European parliament elections – insisting Britain will stick to its tradition of polling on Thursdays.
The European commission recommended a single voting day as a gesture of EU solidarity, and to boost embarrassingly low voter turnout in the euro-elections.
If adopted, the odds are that the single voting day would be a Sunday, already the most common polling day across Europe.
But the Europe minister David Lidington rejected the idea as soon as it was formally tabled on Tuesday, declaring: “There is a rich electoral history across Europe and we don’t want to see this diversity undermined by mandating a one-size-fits-all approach to elections day.
“The UK holds elections on Thursdays and we will carry on holding elections on Thursday.”
The EU justice commissioner Viviane Reding unveiled the plan to MEPs as being better than the current system under which euro-elections span four days of voting across the 27 countries.
“Member states should agree on a common day for the European elections, with polling stations closing at the same time. Having one day would make clear that European elections are a common endeavour and would better reflect common participation by citizens across the union, as part of the representative democracy on which the EU is founded,” she said.
She referred to a new EU survey showing that three-fifths of voters (62%) think that a single voting day would boost turnout.
UK rejects call for EU countries to vote on same day – The Guardian