In the latest issue of Hackney Today Jules Pipe says: "A wide-ranging campaign this year to increase the number of people on the electoral role, has resulted in 10,000 more residents being able to vote in Hackney."
I'll be one of those new ones on the electoral role. Nothing like the threat of a £1000 fine! I don't know if that threat was about voting or if it had more to do with the 2011 census. Either way it worked.
The turnout for the 2005 General Election in Hackney South and Shoreditch was 49.7% and in Hackney North and Stoke Newington it was 49.6%. I assume that the 50% who didn't vote were on the electoral role. An increase in 10,000 disinterested voters on the electoral role could make the turnout even worse.
But nothing much seems to work. In 2005, in neighbouring Bethnal Green and Bow, the massively hyped contest between George Galloway and Oona King - which saw Galloway win by 823 votes - pulled a 52% turnout. That was up 4 percentage points on the 48% in 2001. So even a dramatic battle doesn't make much difference to inner city voters with an average turnout at 10% below the national average.
The figures come from the Guardian and can be found most easily on Theyworkforyou.com
For something vaguely related: Navel-gazing intro, Candi-dating in Hackney