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Tories to ditch mayoral second preference voting system and introduce voter ID

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Mayoral elections will in future be held under the first-past-the-post system and voters will be required to present identification at the polling booth, if the Conservatives win the next election.

election 2017 1

election 2017 1

The party’s manifesto, published today, says the party would legislate to “ensure that a form of identification must be presented before voting, to reform postal voting and to improve other aspects of the elections process to ensure that our elections are the most secure in the world”.

Voter identification was already due to be piloted in 2018, although concerns about such reforms were uncovered when LGC analysed this issue at the end of the year.

However, the “traditional method of voting by pencil and paper” which was criticised by some groups on the day of the EU Referendum for being open to fraud, will be retained.

The document also said that the first-past-the-post voting system would in future be used for mayoral elections. Currently directly elected council mayors and combined authority mayors are elected under the supplementary vote system which allows voters to choose a first and second preference.

Conservatives won four of the six combined authority mayoral elections held earlier this month. Each successful Tory candidate achieved the largest share of the first round votes but all four contests went to second preferences as they did not achieve more than 50% on the first round.

The manifesto also confirms a Conservative government would press ahead with boundary reviews designed to reduce the number of MPs to 600 in future.

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