A ballot box. The Electoral Commission says it is likely that some of the people affected are still eligible to remain registered to vote [Image: Rui Vieira/PA].

Is Labour right, and hundreds of thousands are at risk of disenfranchisement?

Or is this a sign of voter apathy?

Or are the Tories right, and the only names removed from the electoral register are those that are no longer valid or were being used fraudulently?

And how can we tell?

Almost 800,000 potential voters were deleted from the electoral register under government changes to the system, official figures have confirmed.

The Electoral Commission said about 770,000 names were removed from the register as the government introduced the requirement that people sign up as individuals rather than as households.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed the overall register in December 2015 had shrunk by 600,000 names in the preceding 12 months, suggesting a voter registration drive over the same period was successful in getting people to sign up.

But Labour said the huge number of deletions meant hundreds of thousands of people were at risk of disenfranchisement, highlighting a particular problem in university towns and among younger people who are almost eligible to vote.

Overall, the electoral register is smaller by 1.6 million names than at its peak in 2012 when 46.4 million people were on the list.

Source: Nearly 800,000 names axed from voter register, official figures show | Politics | The Guardian

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