A YouGov opinion poll carried out for broadband company TalkTalk suggests Mayoral contenders are likely to miss out on vital votes under the current system which requires people to register for the electoral register during the annual canvass each year and then attend, in person, at a neighbourhood polling station, or pre-arrange a postal or proxy vote.
With turn out likely to be critical in this week’s London Mayoral election, the poll reveals that one in four Londoners already admits that they are “not very likely” to vote.
Busy working lives and the hectic social schedules of those living in the capital, plus bad weather and postal delays could all lower turnout on the day, as evidenced in the 2004 Mayoral election when turnout fell to 40%.
Almost half of respondents (48%) say that they would be “more likely to vote” if they could stamp their cross online.
“This study highlights that more people would vote in the forthcoming election if they could vote online,” says Dominic Stinton, spokesperson for TalkTalk.
“We all lead such busy lives – this research proves the significance of convenience to busy Londoners, and shows how the internet is now engrained in daily life. It touches every aspect, including politics.”
Stinton suggests online voting would not only make democracy more accessible but would “lead to increased numbers of people voting on polling day” and says “The question is surely not whether online voting will come to the UK, but when?”