David Cameron’s reforms to the voting system have narrowly survived an attempt to kill them off in the House of Lords, despite warnings from the Electoral Commission that people could be disenfranchised. Peers rejected a fatal motion that would have stopped the Conservatives bringing forward use of a new electoral register to December 2016, even though it contains up to 1.9 million fewer names than the old register. The new register requires everyone to be registered as an individual, which differs from the old system under which the head of a household was able to register all occupants. The narrow win will be a relief for Cameron after the House of Lords voted down the government’s cuts to tax credits on Monday.
The Electoral Commission said it would now focus on trying to make sure “as many as possible are registered to vote before the important set of polls scheduled for May 2016”. We must reclaim UK’s million missing voters, says Labour’s Gloria de Piero
“We’ll also be running our own campaign to help anyone who might be affected, particularly students and people who have recently moved house. The ability to register online will be a big help in this,” said Jenny Watson, chair of the commission.