Scotland politics

Electoral Commission says Scottish independence referendum was 'well run'

Scottish independence referendum Image copyright PA
Image caption The Scottish independence referendum took place last September

The body that oversees UK elections said Scotland's independence referendum was well run and offered a template for future votes like the EU referendum.

The Electoral Commission's observations came as it published a report about last year's poll.

It said the pro-Union Better Together campaign spent £1,422,602 and the pro-independence Yes Scotland campaign spent £1,420,800.

People in Scotland voted 55% to 45% against independence.

The commission found that the regulatory framework at the referendum "worked well overall" and that the move to give clear guidance at an early stage ensured a "high level of compliance with the rules".

John McCormick, head of the Electoral Commissioner for Scotland, said: "This report serves to highlight that the Scottish independence referendum remains a good example of a well-run referendum.

"The lessons learnt in Scotland should provide an excellent template for how future referendums should be legislated for, administered and regulated."

The new majority Conservative government plans to hold a referendum on Britain's membership of the EU before the end of 2017.

The independent Electoral Commission regulates party and election finance and is responsible for the conduct and regulations of referendums.

During the Scottish independence referendum, the commission imposed just one sanction of £500 on the Communication Workers Union which had exceeded the registration threshold of £10,000 before registering as an official campaigner.

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