A referendum (referenda is the plural) can be called to consult the electorate on a particular issue or pose a specific question.
Alternative vote - May 2011 [external link]
A national referendum was held on the parliamentary voting system, proposing a change from 'first past the post' to the 'alternative vote'
Mayoral referendum - September 27 2007
'Are you in favour of the proposal for Darlington Borough Council to be run in a new way, which includes a mayor, who will be elected by voters of that Borough, to be in charge of the Council's services and to lead Darlington Borough Council and the community which it serves?'
Yes - 7981
No - 11226
Votes counted: 19217
Postal votes: 9591
Rejected votes: 10
Whessoe Parish poll 2006
'Should the historic landmark, The White Horse Pub/Hotel be demolished and replaced with blocks of flats?'
Yes - 10
No - 391
Rejected papers - 2
(Total: 403, turnout: 35.04%)
Elected Regional assembly - 22 July 2004 [pdf document]
A referendum was held to see if people wanted an elected regional assembly in the North-East