Emily takes on the Tory government on voter registration and disenfranchisement

There’s a serious need to improve levels of voter registration and turnout at elections. In Islington South and Finsbury there are still almost 24,000 voting age adults who either could register to vote but haven’t, or would love to register but aren’t allowed to. This second group includes more than 8,000 EU nationals who can vote in local elections, but have no say in who represents them in Parliament. In my view, that is quite wrong...

At a time when there is wide agreement on the need to improve people’s trust in politics and politicians, we should be looking at radical new ways to improve participation in elections. There are many thousands of people in Islington who work hard, pay tax, and are barred from voting simply because of where they come from. Not only do I believe we should we extend voting rights to these groups, we should also have a requirement that everyone who is eligible to vote should be automatically registered.

Worryingly, we have a Tory government which is taking us in the opposite direction – making it harder to register to vote while also unfairly changing the boundaries of MPs’ constituencies to lock in their Parliamentary majority by creating a permanent bias against densely populated urban areas represented by Labour MPs. These proposals would be terrible for Islington. I hope that yesterday’s debate helped to raise the profile of these important issues, and I will continue to fight as hard as I can to stop the Tories in their tracks.


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