Government must release Scottish election ballot papers

The law currently prevents Ron Gould’s investigation from viewing ballot papers

Jo Swinson asked Scotland Office Minister David Cairns to change the law to enable independent investigator Ron Gould access to all relevant evidence.

Jo has also joined with several other Scottish Liberal Democrat MPs to table a Parliamentary motion calling for access to the ballots to be granted.

Speaking in the House of Commons today, Jo asked Scotland Office Minister David Cairns:

“I’m sure all Members want trust in our electoral system to be restored after the mess of last month’s elections, and a full and comprehensive inquiry is clearly vital to this.

“However, we now have the ludicrous situation where the inquiry investigating the thousands of spoiled ballots will not be allowed to see a single one.

“Can the Minister tell me why he has not yet brought forward the necessary legislative changes to ensure that the inquiry is able to examine the spoiled ballot papers, and if he will now do so?”

Commenting later on the release of ballot papers, she said:

“It is simply not good enough for the Scotland Office to sit on its hands.

“After presiding over the election debacle, the Government should be doing everything in its power to ensure the investigation is as comprehensive as possible. This includes bringing forward legislation to allow the inquiry to view the ballot papers.

“Thousands of people across Scotland were effectively disenfranchised, and there is an urgent need to know why.

“Confidence in the electoral system must be restored.”

Early Day Motion tabled by Jo Swinson in Parliament today:


That this House expresses serious concern at the 146,097 spoiled ballot papers in the recent Scottish Parliamentary elections; notes with concern that the inquiry led by independent expert Ron Gould will not be allowed access to the ballot papers; believes that examination and analysis of the ballot papers is essential for the inquiry to be fully comprehensive; and calls on the Secretary of State for Scotland to bring forward legislation to enable the inquiry to view the ballot papers, with appropriate measures to preserve the integrity of the secret ballot.

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