Is Adam Boulton right about non-registered voters?

Is Adam Boulton right about non-registered voters?

    Will his latest figures really hurt Ken?

One interesting aspect of the London mayoral race that has been raised by Sky’s Adam Boulton is the proportion of adults who have not registered to vote in parts of London.

He noted: “I’m told that when official figures are published next week by London Elects, the quango running the election, they will reveal that over two million Londoners have not registered to vote on May 1.

That still leaves around five million people who will be eligible to vote, but it suggests that the number of unregistered voters is even higher than the 13 per cent it was in London at the 2005 general election. Nationally, it was just seven per cent…..”

….Some estimates suggest that in inner London 18 per cent are not registered, compared with only 11 per cent in outer London; that 17 per cent of ethnic minority voters are not registered, compared with only six per cent of white voters; and, thirdly, that it’s mainly younger people who are not registering.”

The questions this raise are – does this hurt Ken more than Boris and will it be reflected in the opinion polls? On the latter could some of the apparent support for the contenders be from people who have not voted?

Julia Clarke, head of political polling at Ipsos-MORI, tells me that now the registration has been closed a question on whether respondents are registered will be included in future polling on the race – which seems right. She also notes that in the past they have found “very few respondents who are “certain to vote” and who also admit they are not registered to vote so it likely won’t impact on our ‘certain to vote’ figures.”

What the Boulton numbers do is confirm the trend that we know already that older people in the out London boroughs are much more likely to turnout than younger ones in inner London. The fact that many of the latter have not registered is neither here nor there – the chances of them ever voting were very low.

The latest MORI mayoral polls showed found this on the over 55s:-

  • They are much more likely to vote
  • They are much less likely to change their mind.
  • And they are much more likely to vote for Boris

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    Mike Smithson

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