Friday, 4 March 2016

The effects of IER in Southend-on-Sea


               
The voter population in Southend-on-Sea has shrunk by 1.6% in two and a half years. Since we have a growing population one cannot escape the thought the changes to electoral registration has been the cause.

This table shows the latest data for voter registration in the seventeen wards that make up the Borough of Southend-on-Sea.


2012
Sep 2014
Sep 2015
Mar 2016
% change Sep 2014 to Mar 2016
Belfairs
7461
7521
7486
7414
-1.4
Blenheim Park
7954
7980
7994
7863
-1.5
Chalkwell
7395
7241
7184
6998
-3.4
Eastwood Park
7620
7628
7568
7556
-0.9
Kursaal
7507
7793
7692
7488
-3.9
Leigh
7446
7494
7480
7338
-2.1
Milton
7830
7382
7568
7288
-1.3
Prittlewell
7805
7860
7771
7690
-2.2
Shoeburyness
8288
8524
8614
8545
0.3
Southchurch
7643
7693
7603
7526
-2.2
St Laurence
7610
7502
7517
7455
-0.6
St Luke's
8190
8004
8002
8007
0.3
Thorpe
7520
7473
7477
7417
-0.7
Victoria
7349
7358
7269
7237
-1.6
West Leigh
7158
7118
7131
7086
-0.4
West Shoebury
7534
7466
7446
7373
-1.2
Westborough
7621
7626
7609
7360
-3.5

129931
129663
129411
127641
-1.6

Two wards have seen a modest rise in voter numbers (Shoeburyness and St Luke's), otherwise it is a story of shrinking electorates.

Kursaal tops the shrinkage list with 3.9% decrease in voter numbers. this is closely followed by Westborough (down by 3.5%) and Chalkwell (3.4%)

A more accurate register is in everyone's interest, and this is what Individual Electoral Registration sought to do. However, I think we can see that the reverse is happening.  This legislation is disenfranchising significant numbers, and this is not good for our democracy.

Quite what James Diddridge and Sir David Amess, the borough's two Members of Parliament, make of this is anyone's guess, but since the new constituency boundaries will use the latest electoral roll they will at least have an interest in this data.

Incidentally, if we are meant to believe these numbers (and that, after all, is the Government's intentions) then Chalkwell is four-fifths (81.9%) the size of  Shoeburyness - which suggests to me that some revision of ward boundaries is overdue.

For older data please go to The effects of IER.


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