Missing Millions

13 Jan 2015

Cash for registration?

The Cabinet Office last week announced a ‘further’ £9.8m of spending to promote voter registration . Some £6.8m is being allocated to local authorities, depending on their levels of under-registration. And up to £2.5m will be used to fund national activity, again aimed at under-registered groups. The remaining £500,000 is earmarked for ‘efforts to boost confidence in the elections process’. While […]
17 Nov 2014

Friends, Romanians, Countrymen, Lend Me Your Votes...

Turnout has been in the news once again, with a report from the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee advocating bank holidays on election days, votes at 16 and other structural changes to increase turnout. Structural and institutional changes are, of course, a vital component of making it easier and more desirable to vote. Yet, voting is also a social act, and not just about our personal […]
5 Feb 2014

Time to Bite the Ballot

Today is the first ever National Voter Registration Day – a fantastic initiative by Bite the Ballot to get as many (particularly younger) people on the electoral register as possible. A large number of schools, businesses, associations and volunteers are coming together in an attempt to get 250,000 new names registered to vote. Today is also the day we reveal a shocking new finding: almost one in […]
23 Jan 2014

Democracy: the year ahead

There will be elections aplenty in 2014 at home and abroad: the last locals ahead of the 2015 General Election, to be held on the same day as polls for the European Parliament; Scotland’s referendum on 18 th September; major contests in Brazil and US mid-terms in November kicking off the 2016 presidential election. Underlying these are three democracy moments to watch, with implications beyond […]
8 Jan 2014

Let's be careful with voter ID

The Electoral Commission today recommended that voters should be required to produce ID at the polling station as a measure to tackle electoral fraud. While it is of course vital to prevent fraud, at a time when people are increasingly turning away from politics it’s important that we do not put up new barriers to participation. This year sees the biggest change to the way we vote since the […]
4 Jul 2013

Millions still at risk of falling off the electoral register

The government seems to have recognised the risk – one which we have consistently warned about – that millions of people may fall off the electoral register and become effectively disenfranchised as a result of individual electoral registration. Today Chloe Smith, the Minister for Political and Constitutional Reform, announced an initiative offering funding for ideas to help ensure people do not […]
25 Apr 2013

Our ‘Flatlining Democracy’ – no palliatives please

Last night Shadow Leader of the House of Commons Angela Eagle addressed the Hansard Society on political engagement in Britain. Given the problems we face her speech makes welcome reading. Eagle spoke of Britain’s "flatlining democracy" and said that Labour would be undertaking an inquiry to help shape policies on political reform as the party moves towards the next election. We welcome Labour’s […]
19 Mar 2013

Never again

It’s Official! Everyone (apart from the Home Office) who has looked at the elections for police and crime commissioners (PCCs) say they should never be allowed to happen that way again. At the Electoral Reform Society we’ve been pointing out these failures for some time. Even before the poll took place we said government mishandling would lead to a turnout of 18.5%. This earned a sharp rebuke […]
24 Feb 2013

The price of failure on PCC elections

On 15 November 2012 English and Welsh voters went to the polls to elect the first Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs). As we anticipated the election saw the lowest turnout in peacetime history with only 15.1% of voters turning out. The Home Office stated a desire to “empower the public - increasing local accountability and giving the public a direct say on how their streets are policed” . […]
15 Feb 2013

There are millions more renters, let’s give them a voice

Pete Jefferys, Shelter Policy Team In the Shelter policy team we spend a lot of time thinking about how to get renting up the political agenda. Four in ten of the people who come to Shelter for housing advice rent privately and the number of renters is increasing rapidly as more and more families find themselves unable to buy a home. There are now more than 9m renters in England – which ought to […]