To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, with reference to the Electoral Commission's Corporate Plan 2015-16 to 2019-20, HC106, published in June 2015, what the evidential basis is for the assertion in that Plan that electoral fraud is not widespread.
15 July 2015
The Electoral Commission’s Corporate Plan 2015-16 to 2019-20 states that “Although there is no evidence that electoral fraud is widespread in the United Kingdom, and the number of cases of alleged electoral fraud reported to the police is relatively low compared with the number of contests and the number of people who vote in elections each year, there is a consistent level of public concern about electoral fraud.”
The evidence underpinning the approach taken by the Commission in its corporate plan was set out in the final report of its 18-month review of electoral fraud vulnerabilities, which involved research with the public and wide consultation, including with elected representatives, political parties, electoral professionals, the police and prosecuting authorities, academics, voluntary organisations, think tanks and the UK Government. It was also based on data about allegations of electoral fraud reported to police forces across the UK that has been collated and published by the Commission since 2008.
Both reports are available on the Commission’s website and were sent to all honourable members.