Scottish election 2021: Tory anti-indyref slogans rejected by Electoral Commission

Two Tory slogans stating opposition to another independence referendum have been rejected by the Electoral Commission for use on ballot papers in the Holyrood election.

The Conservative and Unionist party submitted applications for the slogans "End Division, No Referendum, Rebuild Scotland" and "Not Another Referendum, Time for Recovery", but had both rejected.

Earlier on Wednesday, it emerged the Labour Party lost a last-minute bid to have leader Anas Sarwar’s name included on ballot papers for the election.

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The party took legal action against the Electoral Commission over what it said was the refusal to allow the slogan “Anas Sarwar – Labour’s National Recovery Plan” to be on regional list ballots for the May 6 poll.

Ballot paper slogans have to be approved by the Electoral Commission
Ballot paper slogans have to be approved by the Electoral Commission

The Electoral Commission stated the reason for the Tory party’s rejection as “does not meet the requirements of a description”.

If a party wants their identity marks – a name, description or emblem – to appear on ballot papers at an election, they must be registered with the Electoral Commission.

The guidance on the Electoral Commission’s website states: “A party description is an optional identity mark that you can register in addition to the party name.

"A voter must be able to identify your party from the description. For example, a way to do that may be to include the party name in the description. If in the commission’s opinion, a voter cannot identify the party from the description, it is not a description under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act and cannot not be registered.”

A description submitted by Reform UK – previously the Brexit Party – “ReformUK – Change Scottish Politics for Good” was also rejected.

A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said: “The Scottish Conservative campaign slogan remains ‘End Division. No Referendum. Rebuild Scotland’, although it will not appear on the ballot paper itself.”

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