Taking account of local government boundaries

Part of Parliamentary Constituencies Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:45 pm on 25th June 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Cat Smith Cat Smith Shadow Minister for Young People and Voter Engagement 3:45 pm, 25th June 2020

I must admit that I am still quite confused, if I am honest, but hopefully all will become apparent.

I am speaking to new clause 9, which is about the electoral registers that are used to compile the boundaries that we draw. In the written evidence submitted by Professor Toby James, a professor of politics and public policy at the University of East Anglia, it was eminently clear that in the latest estimates from the Electoral Commission there were between 8.3 million and 9.4 million people in Great Britain who were eligible to be on the registers but were not correctly registered on the December 2018 register. Since the introduction of individual electoral registration, we have seen registration become increasingly seasonal, and in his written evidence the professor outlined some of the reasons that that might be. His suggestions to the Committee are slightly outside the scope of the Bill, but I draw the Committee’s attention to his paragraph 12, which suggests ways to improve the accuracy and completeness of the electoral register.

New clause 9 would include Department for Work and Pensions data to correct the electoral registers and make sure that the data that the commissioners draw on to draw our constituency boundaries are fuller and more complete than the data they currently work with.