It is often said that the electoral system favours Labour or disadvantages the Tories, but actually the reverse is true.
Our democracy is unequal. Older people, home-owners, and the better off are likely to be registered to vote; young people, students, BAME people and those in private rented accommodation, are less likely.
We always want as many people as possible to be able to vote, but it’s particularly important this year with a large number of elections due to take place in 2016, including elections to the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly, Police and Crime Commissioners, local government elections, Mayoral elections and a referendum on our membership of the EU.
Labour supports the move to individual electoral registration (IER), having legislated for it while in government. But we also recognise the enormous challenges the changes pose, which is why we put in place a transition period with strong safeguards. The Government have botched and rushed the transition.
This Tory Government’s decision to bring in IER a year ahead of schedule risks disenfranchising eligible voters. This is key for the future of our democracy and Labour will not stand by and allow them to lose their voice. It’s now or never, so join me in protecting our democracy.
Gloria De Piero MP is Shadow Minister for Young People and Voter Registration