In terms of the conduct of elections, the Borough of Tower Hamlets is in a league of its own. The lack of action taken on fraud and intimidation can be laid at the police and election officials. However, the system itself must share responsibility.
In 2010 we had the combined general and local elections and in this borough a referendum as to whether there should be a directly elected Mayor.
On 1 December 2007 the borough electorate was 152,466
On 1 December 2008 it was 156,712
On 1 June 2009 it was 158,251
On 1 September 2009 it was 158,549
On 1 December 2009 it was 160,278
On 1 April 2010 it was 164,847
On 4 May 2010 it was 171,870
In one month, in the lead up to the combined elections we had a 7,000 person increase in the electorate. Officials, on the advice of the electoral commission, have to take the evidence of applicants, in their words “at face value”. The electoral commission, as we know, appears dedicated to increasing the size of the electoral register in pursuit of unidentified missing voters. However, there are problems in this.