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SFHA campaign aims to increase voter turnout among social tenants

Housing sector unites to promote participation in General Election amid increased laws around voter ID and research showing low turnout rates.
Election 2024

A campaign by the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) is aiming to increase turnout among social tenants as Britain heads to the polls in next week’s General Election.

Titled ‘Operation Social Vote’, the campaign has been launched after research found that social tenants are among those least likely to vote. According to IPSOS Mori, just 52% of social tenants voted in the previous General Election. It also coincides with this year’s election being the first which will require voters to provide appropriate photo ID at polling stations. The SFHA campaign has been supported by housing associations and co-operatives across Scotland who have raised awareness among tenants of the key dates required to register to vote, to receive postal votes, and which photographic ID will be required on polling day.

There has also been an awareness campaign to ensure tenants understand the location of their polling station and how to get there on the day to vote.

SFHA Chief Executive Sally Thomas said: “I am delighted that SFHA’s Operation Social Vote campaign has been taken up by so many housing associations across the country who are all playing a part in increasing voter turnout among social tenants.

“We know from previous elections that social tenants are already among members of the population least likely to vote and given this General Election will require increased rules around voter ID, we thought it was essential that tenants were aware of everything they need to participate.

“With so many policy areas which affect tenants directly or indirectly the responsibility of the next UK Government, it’s vital that tenants’ voices are heard and that they are supported in participating in the democratic process.”

Andy O’Neill, Head of the Electoral Commission, Scotland said: “This is the first UK General Election where voters will need to bring photo ID to vote at a polling place.

“We’re pleased to have been working with SFHA to share important information to help people get ready to vote. We’re urging everyone who will be voting in person to check to make sure they have the ID they need to vote before heading to the polling place on Thursday 4 July. More information is available at electoralcommission.org.uk/voterID.”

Voters can find information on their local polling place by entering their postcode on the Electoral Commission’s website.

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