Saturday, 16 April 2016

The official referendum campaign commences: the Electoral Commision's choice

The Electoral Commission named the organisations who it shall recognise as the official campaigners.   The state needs to know to whom to throw money.

On 13 April 2016, the Electoral Commission named as lead campaigners:
  • The In Campaign Ltd (t/as “Britain Stronger in Europe”);
  • Vote Leave Ltd.

There were two other applications:
  • Go Movement Ltd;
  • Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition.

The Designation Applications are interesting.  They reveal the political backers, via a standard form, followed by images of letters of support.

The application pack of each party had the following number of pages:
  • The In Campaign Ltd: 39 pages.
  • Vote Leave Ltd: 77 pages.
  • Go Movement Ltd: 222 pages.
  • Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition: 12 pages.

The Commission’s decision - and assessment - of the applications is equally interesting.  The In Campaign Ltd was the sole application for the EurIn campaign, so that was a no brainer (as all monopolists know, give a person only one choice, and guess what choice it is).  The other three parties wanted Brexit, and the key intrigue is why the Commission chose Vote Leave Ltd in preference to Go Movement Ltd.

The applications of GML and VLL are both fairly robust.  GML’s application looks more straight-forward and business-like - including a proper SWOT analysis, named as such! - nearly a prospectus for a listing on a primary trading market.

By contrast, VLL’s application cited the evidential quality (active participation, breadth and depth) of its support base (i.e. downplaying social media) and dropped prestigious names like confetti falls at a wedding.  VLL also named supporters who were active participants in the 1976 referendum.

The Commission’s choice between GML and VLL is set out in its assessments, paragraphs 6.2 to 6.20.

Now that they are the official campaign for EurIn, I wonder if Britain Stronger in Europe can email me their equivalent of the Flexcit plan?

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