In the run up prior to the Scottish Independence referendum in 2014 a huge attempt was made by YES supporters, In particular Radical Independence, to make sure that everyone was registered to vote. Huge efforts were made by canvassers in the Council schemes up and down the country and in the streets to ensure that nobody missed out on the chance to vote in the biggest vote Scotland had ever seen. The homeless and the disenfranchised were encouraged and helped to resister to vote. Huge numbers made it back onto the electoral register by the deadline day.
These efforts will unfortunately have to be made again prior to another Scottish Independence referendum in order to make sure that nobody misses out.
The reason for this is crystal clear. If another Scottish Independence referendum were to take place tomorrow, thousands of these people who had been enfranchised have since 2015 been disenfranchised again!
I have no figures for how many were removed off the Scottish electoral register in 2015, but the figure UK wide was in the region of 770,000 in February of this year. So lets take a proportionate 10th of that for Scotland, which would mean that around 77,000 Scots had been removed from the register by that time. That figure has very probably risen since.
Given that most of those that have fallen off the register are most likely to be among the poorer of society, and given that the largest proportion of the Income bands to support YES are in the lower Income brackets, it will be imperative to ensure that similar efforts are once again made to allow everyone their rightful say to vote when the next referendum comes along.
If projections are correct, this will be a much quicker time scale than the last referendum,and could be upon us as early as 2018.
We will not have the same length of debate, nor shall we have as much time to get organised. So get ready to have your skates on folks.. The NO side are already up and running in the press and media….We need to make sure that we too are prepared, and the talking and persuasion starts now!