two referendums scrapped


The government has decided to abandon regional referendums in Yorkshire and Humberside and the North West — two out of the three planned. This is a major defeat for the government and its postal voting policy. But the defeat is not about postal voting versus traditional polling booths. Nor is it about the substantial postal fraud and deception which occurred in the June elections.

The core issue is government's fear of defeat over regionalisation and the fragmentation of the North of England. All the opinion polls from Yorkshire and the North West repeatedly stress mass opposition to the proposed break-up of traditional regional identities. The prospect of a defeat for the European Union's agenda for regionalisation and a subsequent backlash in Labour constituencies has the government running scared.