Scotland politics

Scottish independence: Referendum votes 'for sale' on eBay

Ebay listing for referendum vote Image copyright other
Image caption The eBay listing from a vendor in Glasgow said the vote was for sale because it "would not change anything"

Police have launched an investigation after a number of people apparently tried to sell their votes in the independence referendum online.

Votes for the 18 September ballot were listed on internet auction site eBay, which has since removed the items.

The Electoral Commission said both the selling and buying of votes was illegal.

One online listing offered buyers a "unique piece of British history".

The Glasgow-based vendor wrote that he was selling his vote - with a starting price of 99p - because he did not "give a flying monkeys [sic] about any of this".

He went on: "This is my very own unique piece of British History!

"This could be the deciding vote. Who knows? I am a hard working Scottish citizen with a house, a gorgeous wife and 2 beautiful kids who are my world.

"This vote will not change anything in our lives so I have decided not to vote."

The listing was signed off: "Happy Bidding."

Criminal offence

A spokeswoman for the Electoral Commission said it had made an agreement with eBay that any such "votes for sale" listings would be taken down and referred to police.

She added that selling and buying votes was a criminal offence that could lead to a year in prison or a "substantial" fine.

"Anyone that believes an offence may have been committed, for instance because bids were made on a vote advertised as 'for sale', should refer this matter to the police," she told the BBC.

"We advise eBay to refer any such cases to the police themselves."

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: "We will respond appropriately to any issues which arise.

"We are investigating these incidents and therefore cannot comment on the outcome of these incidents until all inquiries are concluded.

Where other incidents are reported they will be investigated and appropriate action taken."

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