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The Constitution Unit

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Elections and Referendums

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Questions relating to elections and referendums are currently at the heart of political reform debates in the UK and around the world. How can low levels of voter participation in elections be addressed? How can electoral institutions best be adapted in response to voters’ changing expectations? Do referendums contribute positively to a healthy democratic system? Could referendums be run differently to improve their operation? The Constitution Unit’s research in this area is led by Professor Alan Renwick and falls into these primary areas. 

Research

Logo for the Working Group on Unification Referendums on the Island of Ireland

Working Group on Unification Referendums on the Island of Ireland

A project examining how any future referendum on the constitutional status of Northern Ireland would be best designed and conducted.

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Doing Democracy Better

Research into how we can improve the quality of information that is available during election and referendum campaigns and help voters to access it.
 

Boundary review

Constituency Boundary Reviews

Work examining how constituency boundary reviews should be implemented and how to safeguard the independence of the Boundary Commission.
 

The Mechanics of a Further Referendum on Brexit Revisited - report cover

The Mechanics of a Further Referendum on Brexit

A series of reports and blogposts which examined whether a further Brexit referendum was feasible, how it would have been triggered, what the question might have been, how it should have been regulated, and when it could have taken place. 

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Independent Commission on Referendums

A Commission of senior figures established to review the role of referendums in British democracy and consider how the rules and practice could be improved.