27 Mar 2017

The Brexit deficit

If there was a ‘word cloud’ of popular news topics over the last twelve months then ‘Brexit’ would be front, centre and in bold. Since last June’s referendum the topic has dominated headlines, been the focus of family discussions over the dinner table, and of course the workloads in Westminster and beyond. On Monday the Institute for Government published a report highlighting the dominance of […]
30 Sep 2016

The Return of the Gerrymander

With all the media attention focusing on the upcoming American Presidential Election, it’s easy to forget that it isn’t the only election happening on that day. Voters up and down the country will be voting in local referendums, for Senators, for Representatives and for a host of local elected positions. The Democrats are currently leading in the polls for Congressional elections by six points […]
23 Sep 2016

Why cutting the number of MPs could cut democratic scrutiny too

Last week we saw the first proposals for the new constituency boundaries, drawn up by the Boundary Commission. It’s certainly caused a stir – with allegations flying around about which parties it will hit harder, whether it will even happen, and who stands to lose their seats in the shakeup. But less commented on was the fact that this is all taking place as part of a cut in the number of MPs – […]
14 Sep 2016

This boundary review risks skewing our democracy. It’s time to think again

It’s fair to say the boundary review has caused a stir. Why? Let’s start with the whole basis of this shakeup. The boundary redrawing is being conducted on the basis of registered electors - rather than the actual eligible population. here's seven reasons why that risks skewing our democracy: 1. Areas with the lowest levels of registration are often those that already have the least voice in […]
5 Feb 2016

Time for a Registration Revolution

Today is National Voter Registration day, launched by our friends at Bite the Ballot . Voter registration is an integral part of our democracy. If you’re not registered you can’t vote. Electoral boundaries are now also drawn based on the register , meaning under registration could lead to distortions in the boundaries. In December 2015 Britain finished the biggest change to electoral registration […]
3 Dec 2015

Moving the goal posts

For many households, this Monday began with children’s squeals of excitement as they opened the first day of their advent calendar. Less noticeable will have been the democratic significance of December 1st. Monday marked the cut-off point for getting on the final electoral register being used for the redrawing of parliamentary constituency boundaries. This will ultimately decide how many MPs an […]
16 Mar 2015

Shifting boundaries

With the General Election now just weeks away, and speculation about possible coalition arrangements taking centre stage, it would be easy to overlook a very important and immediate legislative priority that the new government, whatever its composition, needs to address. So it's welcome that this week the House of Commons Political and Constitutional Reform Committee has published a report […]
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 […]
30 Jan 2013

Where next on boundaries?

Yesterday opposition and government MPs finally strangled David Cameron’s ill-thought out boundary review. The vote was a victory for common sense, but the question today is where we go from here. The debate was dominated by partisan advantage, but we did get a taster for how a better boundary regime might be achieved. Labour’s Paul Blomfield brought the debate back to fundamental principles. He […]
7 Nov 2011

Voter Registration: We’re winning

Some good news for a change as the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee’s new report shows we’re making progress on getting Individual Electoral Registration (IER) right. The Society has been working closely with the UK Government, all political parties, electoral registration officers and civil society to suggest changes to the Bill to help prevent as many as 10 million voters falling […]