Voter Turnout

30 Jan 2015

A steampunk system

This is a guest post by Plaid Cymru Assembly Member Simon Thomas, discussing his recent speech on young people and democracy for ERS Cymru. The views, opinions and positions expressed within are those of the author alone and do not represent those of the Electoral Reform Society. I was 15 when the first referendum on Welsh devolution was held, and I so much wanted to vote. 58% voted in 1979 and […]
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 […]
6 May 2014

The optimism of youth

There’s a new poll out on young people and voting , from YouGov and the think tank British Future . The headline figure, that only 41% of young people will ‘definitely’ vote at the next election, is no great surprise. This is around how many voted in 2005 (37%) and 2010 (44%). What is perhaps more interesting is the fact that there is no sign that young people are disinterested in politics. In […]
12 Mar 2014

Defending the postal vote

This article was first published on Left Foot Forward A BBC radio programme on postal vote fraud was aired last night, and it contained a call from a high court judge to scrap ‘on-demand’ postal votes. This knee-jerk reaction to the problem of fraud represents a complete failure to understand the real voting scandal – which is that millions of eligible voters remain unregistered, and voter […]
13 Feb 2014

Neglecting Wythenshawe

Voters in Wythenshawe and Sale East are getting an unusual amount of attention as they go to the polls today. In a by-election, the might of parties’ national infrastructure can be concentrated on a single constituency. But as soon as the caravan moves on, voters here will be ritually ignored – just as they usually are. Our research shows that parties spent just 51p per vote in Wythenshawe and […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
18 Aug 2012

PCCs - How not to run an election

In 1998 voter turnout in Metropolitan Council elections outside London hit 25.2%. It was the lowest turnout figure in modern times. The approaching Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections now threaten to break that record . The elections in November will cost a whopping £75m but evidence suggests that we can only hope for a turnout of around 18.5%. We’ve looked at some of the key drivers of […]