A Green Party candidate is urging Manchester to register for their right to vote in next month’s General Election after new stats showed 10% of voters have been ‘lost’ in the last 12 months.
Residents have until Monday and government changes to the voter registration process means that voters are now having to register individually when they move address.
This has resulted in 39,787 people disappearing from Manchester’s electoral roll in the last 12 months.
This drop in voters could radically alter the outcome of the election, with the change disproportionately affecting young people, students, private renters and people from minority ethnic backgrounds.
Kieran Turner-Dave, a Green candidate for Manchester Central, explained the possible impact on the party’s chance of winning a local seat, with the party finishing second to Labour in 2014’s local elections with a vote of 12.7%.
“The sort of people that have been affected by the registering process are people who would traditionally vote Green and are the groups we tend to do well with,” he told MM.
“I find it very surprising that the government has taken this action around one of the most important elections in a generation.
“It’s very unlikely that people have unregistered themselves and taken themselves off the electoral register due to disillusionment – it’s more to do with this new system whereby everyone has to register individually and they’ve been taken off the electoral roll against their will.
“Most people who have fallen off the register probably won’t know they have.”
The council wards in Manchester that have seen the greatest drop in registered voters are areas with high populations of students, private renters and minority ethnic voters.
The City Centre has lost 37% of its registered voters, Ardwick has lost 33%, Withington 28%, Hulme 26%, Rusholme 23% and Fallowfield 21%.
Meanwhile, more affluent areas with a higher percentage of homeowners have remained largely unchanged. Chorlton has only lost 3% of voters, whilst Didsbury East lost 2%.
Kieran explained that voting for the Green Party would be the best way to prevent austerity measures being put forward by the major political parties including Labour, Conservative and UKIP.
“People in the areas of Manchester who have been hurt most by austerity will stand to gain the most from voting Green,” he said.
“The Labour and Conservative parties have both signed up to £30billion of extra cuts and UKIP want to cut that even further.
“Picking between them is pretty difficult. They’re really all the same shade of grey – just pro-austerity parties that I could never support.
“The Green Party are the only party standing around Manchester that you can vote for that is against austerity.”
You can register to vote for the General Election online by clicking here and entering your National Insurance number.
Commonwealth citizens are able to vote in the General Election, whilst EU citizens can vote in the local elections and the deadline to apply is Monday April 20.
Image courtesy of Coventry City Council, with thanks.