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Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss and Suella Braverman are among the Tory MPs who could scrape a hold of their seats at the next general election due to the introduction of draconian voter ID rules.

The new rules, which require in-person voters to bring ID to vote, could be decisive for top Tories in marginal seats, new polling by the campaign group Best of Britain has found. 

The Survation poll suggested that a huge 5 million voters could be turned away at the upcoming local and general elections due to ID rules, with just under 2 million in marginal and ultra marginal seats, meaning the difference between a defeat or win for top Tories.

In 2022 the UK Parliament introduced voter identification in Britain for the first time, with people from communities that are already marginalised and under-represented in the political system found to be those most affected by the law.

One damning report showed that voter ID rules, used for the first time in local elections last year, led to racial and disability discrimination, noting that the rules ‘disenfranchises more electors than it protects’.

The new polling by the civil society campaign group Best for Britain suggested that the rules could make a crucial difference in the next elections by saving the neck of Tories in knife-edge seats, such as Rishi Sunak who has a 2.4% lead in his Richmond and Northallerton constituency.

An estimated 9,800 voters in the Prime Minister’s constituency do not know about voter ID rules, while just over this number in Liz Truss’s constituency in South West Norfolk were also not aware of the rules. Liz Truss currently holds a lead of 1.5%. 

Other big name Tories including Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove, Suella Braverman and Priti Patel are in marginal constituencies where between 7,000 to 9,000 people are unsure about the need for voter ID, the polling found.

The analysis showed that one in four British Asian/Asian respondents were not aware of the new rules, along with just under a quarter of Black/African/Caribbean/Black British voters. Over one in four young people were also unclear about the need for ID, compared to just 6% of over 65s, along with a quarter of people in Scotland.

Campaigners have been calling for an awareness-raising campaign to stop disenfranchised voters from marginalised communities losing their voice at the next elections. 

Best of Britain CEO Naomi Smith said: “While polls suggest it won’t be enough to change the result of the next General Election, the introduction of unnecessary photo ID could be the difference between victory and defeat for high profile Conservatives in marginal constituencies.

“Overcoming these barriers can help keep the Tories out of power for a decade and as the Government ignores calls for proper funding to increase public awareness of the new rules, we’ll be helping voters get it right at GetVoting.org.”

Hannah Davenport is news reporter at Left Foot Forward, focusing on trade unions and environmental issues

The post Draconian voter ID rules could save top Tories losing seats at general election appeared first on Left Foot Forward: Leading the UK’s progressive debate.

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