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Will Government dare to hold 2014 European and local elections on same day?

Will Government dare to hold 2014 European and local elections on same day?

🕔29.May 2013

It has become customary to hold elections for the European Parliament on the same day as polling takes place for local councils in England and Wales in an attempt drive up turnout and cut costs.

The Department for Communities and Local Government is consulting on whether to have joint European and local elections in 2014, either on May 22 or June 5, and it must have seemed until recently that a decision to combine the two was a no-brainer.

But the unexpected success of the United Kingdom Independence Party at this year’s county council elections has left the political establishment wondering whether the British government will dare to stage a joint ballot in 2014.

The assumption is that Ukip could storm to victory in the European elections, picking up seats all over the place at the expense of the main parties.

With opinion polls showing Ukip’s ratings reaching 20 per cent, or even higher, it is easy to see how public suspicion of most things European, plus backing for the ‘amiable’ Nigel Farage, will result in a kind of unstoppable anti-Brussels bear market come May and June next year.

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