Mr Redwood’s intervention during the debate on the Electoral Registration and Administration Bill, 29 Jan

Mr John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): Just as we want to make sure that anyone who is eligible to vote is able to do so, we also need to make sure that only those eligible to vote do vote. Will the Minister remind us what checks there will be on an individual to prevent that individual from registering twice under different names?

The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office (Miss Chloe Smith):
My right hon. Friend is absolutely right. The innovation of data-matching will allow us to cross-reference, we hope, about 70% of electors against other sources of data held by the Government. That will, in large part, assist the endeavour outlined by my right hon. Friend. It will help to ensure that the register is both as complete and as accurate as possible, and that those who should not on the register are not included.

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  1. Michael Collins
    Posted January 30, 2013 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Could I take this opportunmity to also ask if the possible referendum will include those who are resident outside of the UK although pay the necessary taxation on their pension earnings?

  2. Barbara
    Posted January 30, 2013 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    What I’m concerned about Mr R, are people voting in foreign lands, where provision is made for them to do so. OK, if you are a British Citizen, but from what I understand people who have worked here for a short while are eligible to vote, why is this? We don’t vote in their elections so why do they vote in ours. I believe to vote one must be actually within the UK at the time of the election, those who know they will be absent should cast a postal vote, such as business people who usually reside here. It should be that only British citizens should be able to vote, this would cut down the fraud that takes place of mulitiple voting. It is a great concern and should be to politicians from all parties. I don’t like foreigners having a vote at all, as they are not British citizens as such. Why do we allow this to continue to happen?

    • Michael Collins
      Posted January 30, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      In reply to Barbara, this is again the UK not watching what other EU countries do. If you are a visitor, employed person or another member state resident in France then you cannot take part in general elections or any vote which is directed by the government. Local votes for village mayors etc can be done. Likewise any EU elections can be obtained, but certainly not any parlimentary voting. Why do we do it? Don’t know, the UK just does not look at what the rest of the EU is doing, from medical to voting, from migration to vehicle licensing. Its our head in the sand not theirs! Finally, we as the UK always seem to come up with new ideas which is planned to enthrall the local population. Most of these ideas are drawn from the EU countries which the UK then say, “we have this new idea” Take the chip and pin card. Professed to be a UK idea when put out a few years ago. France has been using it for more years than you would like to think. Additionally, centre of excellence hospitals,a new idea?, no way, again France has these and has had for many years. Why can’t UK Ltd be honest and say lets do as xxxx country does it will work. Every country which has projects funded by the EU advertise this on hordings next to the project. UK?, no one knows where the money comes from. Now the petrol prices. It is being thought a new idea of letting motorway drivers know the price of fuel on motorway service stations, signs should show this . Again, every 30 odd km in France or before servic e stations the prices are shown for the following 3 or 4 service stations in advance. Come on UK and JR, its not all that bad in the EU! Its us that can’t see the wood from the trees!!

  3. David Langley
    Posted January 31, 2013 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    A potential shambles here, with already troubling worries about electoral fraud, phantom voters and massive uncertainty who lives here and is legally allowed to vote. The Blair legacy is already skewing the vote away from our traditional values in England. The mixture of Parliaments and Assemblies, and the overarching malign influence of the EU is already weakening voter interest. The coalition omnishambles is not preparing the electorate for a thoughtful and vital campaign to determine a government fit for our English purpose. I state English deliberately being uncertain of the Scottish result. The makeup of our major cities is now in many cases no longer English and the product of those cities is often received by a foreign country as part of its national income. Without having one vote here.

  4. REPay
    Posted January 31, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    The UK is unique in taking away the right to vote from citizens who live abroad for more than 10 years. Can this issue not be addressed? I know Labour does not want this community to vote…as it is too private sector dominated.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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