Labour MP Concerned About Take-Up Of IER

Nov 06, 2014

Labour MP Stephen Twigg has appeared before the House of Commons to explain the reservations he has about the Individual Electoral Registration (IER) scheme.

Twigg says that while he does support the new electronic way to register to vote, dubbing the previous system “archaic,” he is worried that it may lead to a drop in voter turnout.

Since IER launched, 87% of current electors have been successfully transferred automatically transferred over to the new registers, leaving 13%, or 5.5 million people, who have not been matched or transferred.

During the hearing, Twigg also noted that only 10% of students in Manchester University were registering under the new system, prompting concerns the speed with which the government is implementing it.

“The principle is sound, it is the speed of implementation that concerns us,” the Labour MP claimed.

“In relation to certain groups, there is real concern about a large number of people falling off the register.

“There is a case for saying that the legislation should be changed to allow students who live in halls of residence to be automatically registered in view of those circumstances,” he added.

Twigg also thinks those who live in residential homes, including the elderly and people with learning difficulties and other disabilities, should perhaps be automatically registered.

More Needs To Be Done                                                 

“There is a real concern that, even with some of the additional resources that I acknowledge the government have provided for the introduction of IER, that basic building block is being eroded in many authorities and it must not be,” he claimed.

“If IER is not to result in the negative consequences that some of us fear, door-to-door canvassing is essential,” he added.

The Labour MP also wants to see the implementation of the Northern Irish schools and college model that helps encourage students to vote.


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