This weekend Labour is having a #MissingMillion national campaign weekend to try and sign up as many people as possible to register to vote. We want activists across the country to take part, going to homes where people are not on the register and asking them to sign up. We have to act, because the Government have ignored independent advice to wait until the end of 2016 to fully implement Individual Electoral Registration, so that any difficulties could be ironed out.
One million people look set to disappear from the electoral register on 1 December this year. And that’s on top of the million or more eligible adults already missing from the electoral register.
We know what kinds of voters are more likely to be missing: they are private renters, people from BAME communities, the unemployed and lower-paid manual workers. But perhaps the greatest divide is between the older and the younger generation. Some 95% of over-65s are on the electoral register, yet the proportion of 18 to 24-year-olds is just 70%.
Notice anything? Yes, the groups who will fall off the register in December are far less likely to vote Conservative, and more likely to vote Labour.
The Tories’ rush to fully implement IER by December is a cynical attempt to rig the system. The numbers of people registered in December will determine the boundary changes that begin next April. This will result in constituencies that don’t represent communities and – you’ve guessed it – fewer Labour seats than Conservative ones.
This inequality of opportunity to participate in our democracy is unacceptable – and Labour is going to do something about it.
Use a session on Friday 24th October to target students at your local university, FE college or sixth form, and use the whole weekend to go to areas where you know people aren’t registered and sign them up – you can find these using a new functionality on Contact Creator.
We would love to see what you get up to – use social media to tell us using the hashtag #MissingMillion.
The transition to IER is currently set to be the biggest disenfranchisement in our history. Join me this weekend to stand up for our democracy and stop this Government from ignoring a million voices.
The Missing Million Campaign will take place from Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th October. You can download a campaign pack by clicking here. The hashtag is #MissingMillion. People can register to vote online here: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.