Extent of Slough’s lost voters revealed in Census statistics
The initial release of census figures on Tuesday expose the scale of the inadequacy of current electoral figures for Slough.
The Boundary Commission based their proposals for changes to the Slough, Windsor and Spelthorne constituencies on a registered electorate for Slough of 84,908 based on official figures reported by the borough council and the Office of National Statistics as at March 2011.
The census figures recorded in March 2011 show Slough actually had a total population of 140,205 of which 102,981 were of voting age, a difference of 18,073.
Even this official figure recognises the census response rate for Slough was 92.1% – a figure that seems optimistic considering that 15.5% of Slough households report nobody speaking any English at all.
The Boundary Commission based their changes for England and Wales on a total electorate of 6,192,504, which is 91.4% of the total voting age population of 6,775,054 revealed by the census. In Slough the figure is just 82.4%, showing the extent of the discrepancy.
As former Parish Councillor Mike Nye pointed out in his response to the Local Government Boundary Review in May, an elected representative still has to represent the population – so will still get the additional case load whether voters are registered or not.
Mike’s call for a drive to increase voter registration was unheeded, and did not feature in the LGBCE’s final report. However, it was repeated in the CCA’s submission to the Boundary Commission on Monday.