The Scottish Elections Review (Gould Report) has been published this morning - full details are now up on the Electoral Commission's website ... here.
From my admittedly pro-STV standpoint, I'm really pleased to read that:
"The report concludes that there is very little evidence to support the argument that the simultaneous local government election using STV contributed to the higher rejection rate in the Scottish parliamentary election. The evidence points instead to the combined Scottish parliamentary sheet as the cause of the problem."
There are also several other very positive references to the use of STV contained within the main report ... the vast, vast majority of the criticism is laid at the door of the incredibly late arrival of some of the legislation for the May 3rd elections and the overall, poor forward-planning by all concerned and the over-concentration with politics as opposed to the voter ... well, there is one way to quickly put the voter at the heart of the electoral process; and it's the use of STV for all levels of election, and to quickly scrap the use of AMS (for the Scottish Parliament elections) which woefully retains far too much control in the hands of [all] Party-machines.
And one very interesting issue flows from Gould's main recommendations ... as most readers will know, Westminster is currently in charge of overseeing the Holyrood elections with the Scottish Parliament having control of the local authority poll. Gould recommends that talks begin now on assigning responsibility for both elections to one body and suggests that the most "logical choice" would be to appoint the Scottish Government as that one body.
... so, if that comes to pass (and personally I think it would make sense) then will the SNP quickly legislate to change the Holyrood electoral system to STV in time for the 2011 Scottish Parliament elections?
It is after all their Party policy to implement STV for all levels of election and they WOULD secure a majority for the change within the Scottish Parliament.