More than 1 in 50 Greenwich borough residents could lose their right to vote due to Government changes to the way electoral registers are compiled.
Greenwich Council says 4,293 electors are at risk of falling off the roll when it is forced to switch to individual electoral registration in December.
Broken down by ward, the difference is enough to unseat two of Greenwich’s current councillors, judging by 2014’s election results.
Previously, the electoral roll was compiled by one member of each household filling in a survey form. Now, everybody who wants a vote will has to apply individually.
Even if you had a vote in May’s general election, you may still be at risk of falling off the register as voters who’d registered under the old method were still included then.
If you’re unsure you’re on the register, you can check with Greenwich Council’s electoral registration office (or Lewisham’s, or anywhere else). You can get yourself on the roll by visiting www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.
186,340 people were registered to vote in Greenwich in May 2015, up from 174,522 at the time of 2014’s council poll.
The Labour Party launched a “missing million” campaign last weekend focused on driving up electoral registration – it fears that it will lose votes in poorer areas.
That analysis is borne out in Greenwich borough – a ward-by-ward breakdown of where the missing voters are shows more in Thamesmead Moorings and the two wards covering Woolwich. While Labour has little to fear in those three seats, it will need every vote it can get in next year’s mayoral election if Sadiq Khan is to beat Zac Goldsmith to City Hall.
|Coldharbour & New Eltham||147|
|Kidbrooke with Hornfair||232|
|Middle Park and Sutcliffe||158|
Total “red matches” – those due to come off electoral register in 1 December 2015. Source: Greenwich Council
In marginal seats, the effects of missing votes could go both ways. Judging by 2014’s results, two more Labour councillors could have been elected in Blackheath Westcombe and Eltham South if all the “red matches” were Tory voters and had already been removed.
The figures were obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request to Greenwich Council. A similar request was made to Lewisham.
PS. Leader of the House of Commons Chris Grayling today accused journalists of “misusing” Freedom of Information laws to “generate” news stories. The government is currently reviewing FOI laws.