Only one person convicted despite hundreds of 2017 election 'double voting' claims

Posted On: 
2nd March 2018

More than 300 complaints about alleged double voting in last year’s general election resulted in only one conviction, it has emerged.

The Electoral Commission said a “significant amount” of correspondence on double voting had been received
PA Images

Claims of people voting twice prompted more than 1,000 emails to the Electoral Commission and 60 letters from 47 MPs.

In particular, many Conservatives accused students of voting Labour in more than one location, thereby boosting support for Jeremy Corbyn.

Voters to be forced to show ID at polling stations in bid to tackle electoral fraud

Electoral Commission: Little evidence to support 'widespread' voter fraud fears

Voters to show ID as part of Government trial to tackle electoral fraud

But while 337 allegations of electoral fraud were made across Britain, 207 were met with no further action and 82 were "locally resolved", according to analysis by the Electoral Commission.

"Based on the data recorded by police forces, there is currently no evidence of any large scale cases of proven electoral fraud relating to the polls held during 2017," the Commission said.

By January, police forces told the Commission that there were carrying out just five investigations.

Only one person has been convicted and subsequently slapped with a fine after pleading guilty to multiple voting in 2017, while two cases resulted in no further action.

Another was deemed not in the public interest to pursue any further, while a fifth remains under investigation.

The BBC says wider analysis of electoral fraud cases reported in 2017 found that eight suspects had accepted police cautions.

An Electoral Commission spokesman said: “Following an electoral event, it's not uncommon for claims made by voters on social media to result in a large spike in enquiries where voters have questions or concerns about what they've seen or heard.

“The police take allegations of electoral fraud seriously, but allegations do need to be substantiated with evidence.

“The data provided to us shows the number of cases where the police considered they had enough evidence to investigate.”