16 January 2015 - One million missing voters in Britain
Fears of a 'disenfranchised generation' after almost a million people disappear from electoral roll
Andrew Grice (The Independent)
Hundreds of thousands of young people could miss the chance to vote in May’s general election following a change in the way people register, prompting fears of a “disenfranchised generation”.
New figures reveal that almost one million people have gone missing from the electoral roll in the past year. Today Ed Miliband will describe it as a “scandal” and accuse the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats of denying young people a voice.
To combat fraud, the Government is switching from household registration to a system where people can no longer register others in their household and must add themselves individually to the roll.
This means that universities and colleges no longer register students living in halls of residence. Statistics compiled by Labour show a big fall in registered voters in university towns and cities including Cardiff, Liverpool, Newcastle, Southampton, Leicester, Nottingham, Brighton, Durham and Hull. In London, the drop is almost 100,000.
Staff (BBC News)
Labour said 307 of 373 local authorities that provided data had recorded a reduction in their electoral roll. Overall there had been a reduction of 950,845, the party said.
Mr Miliband will say: "This is a direct consequence of the government's decision to ignore warnings that rushing through new individual registration reforms would damage democracy. It has."
The Electoral Commission has said the changes will "lead to a more secure electoral register".
People have until 20 April to register to vote.
Labour said it would be deploying some of its full-time staff to university towns to try to get more students to register.
Staff (Herald Scotland)
Ed Miliband will target the youth vote as he accuses the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats of denying thousands of students a ballot paper.
Mr Miliband will make the charge in Nick Clegg's Sheffield constituency, where Labour hopes to unseat the Lib Dem leader as part of a so-called "decapitation" strategy.
The university town is home to many young voters who backed the Lib Dems at the last election but feel let down by its tuition fees U-turn.
In his speech Mr Miliband will accuse the Coalition government of "betraying" young people and "short changing" their futures.
Aisha Gani (The Guardian)
1) What is individual voter registration?
It means that each person eligible to vote can now register their vote as an individual.
The Individual electoral registration (IER) is the new system, introduced in June 2014, and replaces the old one in which the head of the household was responsible for registering everyone else who lived at the address.
Campaigners described household registration as Victorian, and the shift to individual registration is the biggest change to the electoral registration system in 100 years.
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"16 January 2015 - One million missing voters in Britain", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), janvier 2015. Consulté le 07/12/2023. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/key-story/archives-revue-de-presse-2015/16-january-2015-one-million-missing-voters-in-britain