Early parliamentary general election

Part of Early Parliamentary General Election Bill – in the House of Commons at 7:00 pm on 29th October 2019.

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Photo of Crispin Blunt Crispin Blunt Conservative, Reigate 7:00 pm, 29th October 2019

I sincerely hope that is the case. I have made submissions that I hope will make our manifesto more attractive to young people and much more forward looking.

We also ought to remember that there will be three extra days—or five, given that we will drift over the weekend—for people to get their postal votes sorted, which is important if we are to have a December election. I think it is now agreed that the absolutely overriding national interest is to resolve the strategic incoherence of the legislature and the Executive, and we will all need to mobilise people and be part of the campaign to assist people in registering for postal votes if the weather or light will affect their being able to get to a polling station.

All that will also be an additional burden on the electoral registration officers and their teams. For electoral registration officers trying to cope with the demands that we are about to present to them, the three days will be extremely important. There is a good case for widening the take-up of postal votes, not least for students and others who will be able properly to exercise the franchise to which they are entitled.

In conclusion, I hope that the House will consider my arguments. Having the election will resolve the incoherence of good public administration in the circumstances we face today. Dame Rosie, you and your colleagues have prevented us from disappearing down a rabbit hole in order to enable yet further delay and obfuscation by trying to change the nature of the franchise at very short notice. Goodness knows what problems that would then present unto the hard-pressed electoral registration officers on whose behalf I have trying to speak. I hope that the Committee will vote for sound public administration and to support our poor officials who do great work in enabling our democracy to function.