A pensioner has lost his epic battle against the Tories’ plans to force all voters to show ID at polling stations – which campaigners say are a sledgehammer to crack a nut
Image: Getty Images)
The Tory law to force all voters to show ID at polling stations is set to go full steam ahead after a last-ditch Supreme Court fight failed.
A campaigning pensioner today lost a Supreme Court fight against pilots of the controversial scheme.
And the Elections Bill – which will widen the powers across the country – looks set to pass through the House of Lords within days despite last-minute battles still ongoing.
Ministers plan to force voters to show their identification at polling stations from 2023 in a crackdown on fraud.
But there were only 34 allegations of in-person voter fraud at a polling station in 2019, eight 2018, 28 in 2017, 45 in 2016, 26 in 2015 and 21 in 2014.
By comparison, 1,968 people were initially refused a ballot paper across just 10 trial areas in 2019 for not having the right ID. Many of those later returned to vote but 740 of them did not.
Critics say the law is a “sledgehammer to crack a nut” that will create more problems than it solves.
Campaigner Neil Coughlan, 67, of Witham, Essex, had won permission to mount a challenge in the UK’s highest court.
He argued there was a “constitutional right” to vote and ministers exceeded their powers while piloting the scheme in 2019.
But the Supreme Court disagreed today and unanimously dismissed his appeal. He also lost previous fights in the High Court and Court of Appeal.
This breaking news story is being updated.