We’ve yet to see the results of the new system for registering electors. The switch this year from household to individual registration has been widely forecast to result in the loss of up to a million voters from the registers. In particular, it will affect students and the more transient – other young people and the poor. Oh, that happens to be just the groups who don’t tend to vote Conservative. What a coincidence!
But even under the old system something very strange has been going on in Cornwall in recent years. Between the 2010 general election to the 2014 euro elections 10,000 voters in Cornwall disappeared off the electoral registers. For comparison, here’s the change across the constituent nations of the UK during that period. (The source is the Electoral Commission)
This starkly contrasts with the pattern between the 2005 to 2010 general elections.
Given a continuing population rise of around 6-7% a decade, the growth from 2005 to 2010 in Cornwall looks to be twice as fast as it ought to have been. Meanwhile, the fall since 2010 is entirely unexpected.
If the most recent constituency level data of a year ago are compared with 2010 we find that, while all Cornish constituencies lost voters, the biggest drop was in North Cornwall, where the number fell by almost 4,500. The fall was also significantly large in South East Cornwall and lowest in Camborne and Redruth (just 20 fewer voters).
Is this puzzle connected with the registration of second home owners therefore?