"As many as 10 million voters, predominantly poor, young or black, and more liable to vote Labour, could fall off the electoral register under government plans, the Electoral Commission, electoral administrators and psephologists warned... MPs on the political and constitutional reform select committee only realised the implications of the plans following 3 evidence sessions with election experts over the past week... The committee chairman, Labour MP Graham Allen, said they were genuinely shocked. Even Tory members such as Eleanor Laing expressed surprise. The policy has been described by Jenny Russell, the chair of the electoral commission, as the biggest change to voting since the introduction of the universal franchise (the right to vote).
Ministers have unexpectedly proposed that it should no longer be compulsory to co-operate with electoral registration officers when they try to compile an accurate register, in effect downgrading the civic duty to engage with politics... John Stewart, chairman of the electoral registration officers, said the drop-off was likely to be 10% in "the leafy shires" but closer to 30% in inner city areas. He said there would be an incentive not to register as the list is used for jury service and to combat credit fraud. He said he expected large numbers of young voters would not register.
The Cabinet Office, overseen by NICK CLEGG, which had already decided there would be no household canvass in 2014... is introducing individual registration before the 2015 general election. The Electoral Commission said the change would mean 10% of the electorate could fall off the register in as many as 300 local authority areas. The projected 30% fall off in registered voters, weighted towards poorer voters, would require the boundary commission to reduce the number of inner-city Labour seats because the Boundary Commission is required to draw up constituencies with the sole objective of equalising the size of the electorates and not to take into account natural or political borders."