United Kingdom: ‘Outrageous’ Tory changes to electoral roll will face challenge in Lords | The Guardian

The government’s attempt to rush through changes to the electoral registration system, which could result in up to 1.9 million people disappearing from the roll, is to be challenged in the House of Lords. In a rerun of the battles in the last parliament to redraw the constituency boundaries, the Liberal Democrats are opposing the changes, calling them “an outrageous gerrymander”. The voters likely to fall off the register are mainly in inner-city areas and less likely to vote Conservative. The Electoral Commission had advised the government in June to spend another year transferring voters on the old household-based register to the new individual register, but ministers want to short-circuit the process so that it is completed by December 2015, and not the end of 2016. The commission says there are 1.9 million names on the household register that are not on the individual register.

United Kingdom: Peers speak out for expat referendum vote | The Connexion

Peers spoke out strongly in favour of a referendum vote for all Britons living in EU countries when the UK’s EU Referendum Bill had its first House of Lords debate. Many members gave their backing to the idea in yesterday’s debate – which the Liberal Democrats have confirmed to Connexion will also be the subject of an amendment which will be lodged before the bill is discussed in detail in a Lords ‘committee stage’. (The date for this has yet to be set, but it will be the next part of the bill’s journey through parliament). Chairman of Brussels and Europe Liberal Democrats Giles Goodall said it has been agreed that the cross-bench peers [those of no specific party] will table an amendment on this, with Liberal Democrat support. He said the same is planned for an amendment calling for an independent report into the impact of leaving the EU. The Liberal-Democrats will also table amendments on votes for 16-17-year-olds and for EU citizens living in the UK, Mr Goodall said. Readers wishing email peers with support or comments can find contact details here: House of Lords.

United Kingdom: Labour and Lib Dem peers step up fight for lower voting age | The Guardian

The government has suffered yet another defeat in the House of Lords over an amendment that would give 16- and 17-year-olds the vote in council elections. Labour and Liberal Democrat peers teamed up for the second time this week to change the cities and local government devolution bill. They are also planning to stage similar changes to the EU referendum bill to give 16- and 17-year-olds the right to vote in that poll when it comes to the Lords later this year.

United Kingdom: House of Lords raises voting age concerns | BBC

A House of Lords committee has criticised the plan to transfer power from Westminster to Holyrood to enable 16 and 17-year-olds to vote. The proposal has the backing of all the political parties involved in the Smith Commission. But the House of Lords Constitution Committee said it had concerns about the way the process was being handled and the impact in the rest of the UK. The criticism was dismissed by both the UK and Scottish governments. The UK government said the proposal to give votes to 16 and 17 year olds at Holyrood elections would be fully scrutinised by the Scottish Parliament.

United Kingdom: Some U.K. Prisoners Should Be Allowed Vote, Panel Says | Bloomberg

U.K. prisoners serving sentences of less than a year should be given the right to vote in elections, a cross-party panel of lawmakers said today. It would be better for Britain to uphold the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights than continue to deny the vote to all prisoners regardless of length of sentence, the panel, drawn from members of both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, said in a report.Prime Minister David Cameron said in November 2010 that the thought of giving prisoners the vote made him feel “physically ill” after a ruling by the ECHR that banning prisoners from voting was incompatible with the convention.

United Kingdom: Nick Clegg: Lords reform plans to be abandoned | BBC

Plans to reform the House of Lords are being abandoned after Conservatives “broke the coalition contract”, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has announced. Agreement on an elected Lords could not be reached with Tory opponents, he said, and the plans would be shelved rather than face a “slow death”. As a result, he said Lib Dem MPs could not now support Conservative-driven changes to Commons boundaries in 2015. Labour said the Lords climbdown was a “humiliation” for the coalition. Changes to the make-up of the Lords would have seen 80% of peers elected and the total number of members halved to 450.