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Clause 8 — Reports of the Boundary Commissions

Part of House of Commons Disqualification (Amendment) – in the House of Commons at 8:15 pm on 19th October 2010.

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Photo of Chris Bryant Chris Bryant Shadow Minister (Justice) (Political and Constitutional Reform) 8:15 pm, 19th October 2010

The hon. Gentleman makes a good point. The pattern of under-registration is different in different parts of the country. The consistent bits are that poorer people and those who live in rented accommodation are less likely to register, black and ethnic minorities are less likely to register and the young are less likely to register. That is a problem.

I confess to the Committee, however, that Labour Members cannot preach overly on this issue because we failed to take some of the steps that could have been taken to change the electoral registration system. [Interruption.] Greg Hands says rather unfairly, with a scowl on his face, that we failed to take any measures. We took some measures, but we should have adopted the situation in Chile, where it is mandatory to register. I wish that we were moving towards that, but unfortunately the Minister completely disagrees.