|Act of Parliament|
|"Long title||An Act to make provision for the holding of a referendum in Scotland on the establishment and tax-varying powers of a Scottish Parliament and a referendum in Wales on the establishment of a Welsh assembly; and for expenditure in preparation for a Scottish Parliament or a Welsh Assembly.|
|"Citation||1997 c. 61|
|Introduced by||"Tony Blair, "Prime Minister of the United Kingdom|
|Territorial extent||Scotland & Wales|
|"Royal assent||31 July 1997|
|Relates to||"Scotland Act 1998, "Government of Wales Act 1998|
|Text of statute as originally enacted|
|"Treaty of Union||1706|
|"Acts of Union||1707|
|"Personal Union of 1714||1714|
|"Wales and Berwick Act||1746|
|"Acts of Union||1800|
|"Government of Ireland Act||1920|
|"Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act||1927|
|"N. Ireland (Temporary Provisions) Act||1972|
|"European Communities Act||1972|
|"Local Government Act||1972|
|"Local Government (Scotland) Act||1973|
|"Northern Ireland Assembly||1973|
|"N. Ireland Constitution Act||1973|
|"Local Government (Wales) Act||1994|
|"Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act||1994|
|Referendums (Scotland & Wales) Act||1997|
|"Good Friday Agreement||1998|
|"Northern Ireland Act||1998|
|"Government of Wales Act||1998|
|"Government of Wales Act||2006|
|"Northern Ireland Act||2009|
|"European Union Act||2011|
|"European Union Referendum Act||2015|
The Referendums (Wales & Scotland) Act 1997 (c. 61) is an "Act of the "Parliament of the United Kingdom, which made legal provision for the holding of two non-binding "referendums in both "Scotland on the establishment of a democratically elected "Scottish Parliament with tax-varying powers and in "Wales on the establishment of a democratically elected "Welsh Assembly. It was introduced to the "House of Commons by the then "Prime Minister "Tony Blair on 15 May 1997 just two weeks after the landslide "Labour landslide victory in the "1997 General Election and was the very first Bill to be presented to the Commons by the "Blair Government of 1997-2007. The Act received "royal assent on 31 July 1997.
On 1 March 1979 voters in both Scotland and Wales voted in referendums on proposed Assembles under the provisions of the "Scotland Act 1978 and the "Wales Act 1978. The result in Scotland was a narrow "yes" by 51% of voters but failed to achieve an overall minimum 40% "yes" vote of those who were on of the registered electorate and the motion failed to pass and in Wales the proposal was rejected outright by 79% of voters and political fallout from the results led to the fall of the "Labour government 1974–79 which then led to "Margaret Thatcher's victory in the "1979 UK General Election and the beginning of eighteen years of Conservative government.
The Act legislated for the holding of non-binding referendums to be held on 11 September 1997 in "Scotland on weither there should be a democratically elected "Scottish Parliament with tax verying powers and on 18 September 1997 in "Wales on weither there should be a democratically elected "Welsh Assembly and gave powers to both the "Secretary of State for Scotland and the "Secretary of State for Wales to enable the referendums to take place and gave them both the power to appoint Chief Counting Officers to oversee the referendums.
The right to vote in the referendums in both Scotland and Wales applied to residents who were British, Irish and "Commonwealth citizens as well as those who were entitled to vote in all local government elections including all resident "EU citizens. Members of the "House of Lords from both Scotland and Wales were also able to vote in the referendums. The minimum age for voters in both referendums was 18 years with polling stations open from 07:00 to 22:00 "BST. In total almost 6.2 million people would be eligible to vote across Scotland and Wales combined.
The Act legislated for a referendum to be held across "Scotland on 11 September 1997 on the establishment of a Scottish Parliament with tax varying powers. The "Secretary of State for Scotland under the act would appoint a Chief Counting Officer to oversee the referendum and also appoint local counting officers in each of the local government areas. Just under four million people were eligible to vote including "EU nationals residing in Scotland.
Under the Act the electorate was asked to vote on two sets of statements which corresponded to both proposals on different coloured ballot papers.
On the first ballot paper the following appeared:
Parliament has decided to consult people in Scotland on the Government's proposals for a Scottish Parliament:
(To be marked by a single (X))
On the second ballot paper the following appeared:
Parliament has decided to consult people in Scotland on the Government's proposals for a Scottish Parliament to have tax-varying powers:
(To be marked by a single (X))
The 32 "Scottish council areas were used as the counting areas for the referendum under the provisions of the Act.
|Scottish devolution referendum, 1997 (Question 1)
|I agree there should be a Scottish Parliament||1,775,045||74.29%|
|I do not agree that there should be a Scottish Parliament||614,200||25.71%|
|Invalid or blank votes||11,986||0.50%|
|Registered voters and turnout||3,973,673||60.43%|
Every council area voted "I agree" to the proposed Scottish Parliament.
|Scottish devolution referendum, 1997 (Question 2)
|I agree that a Scottish Parliament should have tax-varying powers||1,512,889||63.48%|
|I do not agree that a Scottish Parliament should have tax-varying powers||870,263||36.52%|
|Invalid or blank votes||19,013||0.79%|
|Registered voters and turnout||3,973,673||60.45%|
Votes in favour of tax-varying powers still commanded significant majority, when compared to establishing the Parliament per se. A majority voted 'I agree' in every local council, apart from in "Dumfries & Galloway and "Orkney.
The Act legislated for a referendum to be held in Wales on 18 September 1997 on the establishment of a Welsh Assembly. The "Secretary of State for Wales under the act would appoint a Chief Counting Officer to oversee the referendum and also appoint local counting officers. Almost two and a quarter million people were eligible to vote including EU nationals residing in Wales.
On the ballot paper the following appeared in both English and Welsh:
Parliament has decided to consult people in Wales on the Government's proposals for a Welsh Assembly:
Mae'r Senedd wedi penderfynu ymgynghori pobl yng Nghymru ar gynigion y Llywodraeth ar gyfer Cynulliad i Gymru:
The 22 "Welsh council areas were used as the counting areas for the referendum under the provisions of the Act.
|Welsh devolution referendum, 1997
|I agree that there should be a Welsh Assembly
Yr wyf yn cytuno y dylid cael Cynulliad I Gymru
|I do not agree that there should be a Welsh Assembly
Nid wyf yn cytuno y dylid cael Cynulliad i Gymru
|Invalid or blank votes||3,999||0.36%|
|Registered voters and turnout||2,222,533||50.22%|
Following the results of both referendums the "Scotland Act 1998 and the "Government of Wales Act 1998 were both passed by the UK Parliament which established both the "Scottish Parliament and the "Welsh Assembly and came into being following elections in both Scotland and in Wales in 1999.