Friday, 26 March 2010

Dan Rogerson calls for Cornwall action to prevent second home owners skewing election

North Cornwall Lib Dem MP Dan Rogerson has written to Cornwall Council calling for action to prevent second home owners skewing the general election result in Cornwall.

The Electoral Commission has published guidance on the right of second home owners to register and vote. They say that where a person genuinely lives in two places for roughly equal parts of the year (such as students) then they should be able to choose which area to vote in - but can only vote once.

But where a person has a second home which is only used for part of the year - as is the case for most people who own second homes in Cornwall - they should only be allowed to register and vote where they live for most of the year.

Cornwall Council has a register of those homes which are classed as second homes - owners get an unfair discount on their council tax for these properties. Dan is asking that this register be used to ensure that these second home owners cannot vote in Cornwall in the general election.

At the council elections last year, many hundreds of second home owners vote in Cornwall despite living up country. It is thought that they tipped the balance in a number of seats. The Electoral Commission guidance should ensure that this cannot happen this time.

3 comments:

Cllr Andrew Wallis said...

But what if they were all LD voters and you would win more seats if they could vote?

Dale said...

Rules is rules Andrew... I take it that this is implying that second homes are the domain of one party only? Although it may be skewed the principle is that you should only vote for YOUR representative, the MP who is in place at your place of permanent residence (although i understand that conservatives have a little problem with this concept...)

anguslamond said...

Some history of Tory local/national election gerrymandering here:

http://anguslamond.wordpress.com/conservatives-con-cornwall/