We need to keep a close eye on voting statistics in the forthcoming general election because, arguably, a general election has been rigged before, in 2005.
In early 2001, postal voting on demand was legalised by Tony Blair’s government, whereas previously any elector wishing to vote by mail had to make a representation to their constituency’s registration officer.
In the general election of May 2001, postal votes, in terms of raw numbers, made up just under a half of Labour’s majority over the Conservatives.
When the 2005 general election came around, however, our attention was diverted elsewhere – to the war in Iraq and its questionable legality. According to the House of Commons Library briefing paper “UK election statistics: 1918-2015”, there were almost 4 million postal votes counted, with Labour’s majority over the Tories – again in terms of raw numbers – being 0.77 million. In the Parliament elected by this poll, Gordon Brown would sign the UK up to the Lisbon Treaty, which was the discredited EU Constitution in rejigged form.
As the “Zombie Parliament” has taught us, the EU’s placemen will stop at nothing to frustrate the democratic process. Just as Jo Cox’s tragic murder was used to try to derail the EU Membership referendum, so we need to watch out for a similar atrocity or a declaration of war between now and the election that will be used to try to deflect our attention from abuses of the electoral process.