Ministry of Justice

Election Day: weekend voting

Status: Closed - with response

Open date: 24 July 2008

Close date: 26 September 2008

Responses published: 22 March 2010

The Prime Minister has agreed that those areas of political reform for which the Deputy Prime Minister will have direct responsibility should transfer from the Ministry of Justice to the Cabinet Office.

This includes responsibility for constitutional matters, devolution and electoral reform. Responsibility for the Electoral Commission, IPSA, and the Boundary Commissions has also transferred to the Cabinet Office.

The content below relates to the Ministry of Justices former responsibilities for this area.

A consultation on whether elections should be moved from the traditional Thursday to the weekend and whether this will make voting more accessible and encourage a higher turnout.

The consultation paper invites views on the merits of moving the voting day for Parliamentary and European Parliamentary elections, and local elections in England and Wales, and the best way of doing this. The paper sets out a range of issues that have to be taken into account, including practical considerations, the potential cost of holding elections at the weekend and the need to ensure that any changes do not interfere with religious observance.

The consultation is taking place as part of the government's constitutional renewal programme to reinvigorate democracy and forge a new relationship between the citizen and the state, as set out in the Governance of Britain Green Paper published last July.

Consultation paper


There were a total of 941 responses from a broad cross section of respondents including members of the public, electoral administrators, campaign groups, faith groups and political parties.
The government has carefully considered the evidence and the wide range of views expressed. The report summarises the responses and sets out the government's conclusions.