How the Tories shot themselves in the foot over voter ID by imitating Trump’s Republicans

'So we made it hard for our own voters and we upset a system that worked perfectly well.'

Rishi Sunak

Last week, Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg confirmed what many of us already knew, that the requirement for photo ID at elections was all about gerrymandering and boosting Tory support, rather than tackling electoral fraud.

The local elections earlier this month saw photo ID requirements come into force, with one in seven people put off from voting, according to early polling.

Fifteen per cent of those with elections in their area say they were unable to vote or were put off from voting due to the requirement to show photo ID at the polling station, according to Omnisis polling for Byline Times.

Rees-Mogg’s comments at the National Conservatism Conference last week, where he not only admitted that the requirement for photo ID was all about gerrymandering but also that the law had come back to bite the Tories, is indeed an accurate reflection of what happened.

Rees-Mogg said: “Parties that try and gerrymander end up finding their clever scheme comes back to bite them, as dare I say we found by insisting on voter ID for elections.

“We found the people who didn’t have ID were elderly and they by and large voted Conservative, so we made it hard for our own voters and we upset a system that worked perfectly well.”

According to the polling carried out by Omnisis for Byline, while 15% of Labour supporters said that the new ID rules put them off or prevented them from voting, that figure rises to 22% among would be Conservative voters.

It appears that the Tories did indeed shoot themselves in the foot over requirements to bring in voter ID and deciding to imitate Trump’s Republicans.

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

(Picture credit: Rory Arnold / Number 10 – Creative Commons)

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