A group of 20 Tory MPs on Saturday have urged UK Prime Minister David Cameron [official website] to hold a nationwide referendum on remaining within the European Union (EU) [official website] prior to the next general election in 2015. In January, Cameron promised [JURIST report] that if his party were to win the next election in 2015, the Tories would then push legislation for the referendum by the end of 2015 which would be held by 2017. This push by members of the Conservative Party to expedite [Telegraph report] a nationwide referendum is a response to the results from local elections earlier this month that saw the upstart UK Independence Party (UKIP) [party websites] receiving 26% of the polls [Sky News report]. The UKIP's primary platform initiatives focus on cutting immigration and removing UK ties to the EU have struck a nerve with many conservative UK voters worried about globalism's impact on British sovereignty and their economy. UKIP's successes this year came largely at the expense of the ruling Tory party.
In October 2011, the UK Parliament [official website] voted 483-111 against holding a national referendum [JURIST report] on remaining an EU member. In that proposal, the referendum would have put forward three options for a vote: to remain in the EU, to leave the EU, or to re-negotiate membership terms. In 1975, the UK held a referendum [BBC backgrounder] to determine whether to leave the European Economic Community (EEC). There, only two years after the country had joined the EEC, just over 67 percent of voters supported the move to remain in the European institution.