Almost a quarter of people aren’t aware of changes to voting laws

26 04 23

New rules come into force which require all voters to bring valid photo ID to vote in the elections.

HOPE not hate’s new polling has found that almost a quarter of people don’t know about the new rules – with younger voters and ethnic minority voters disproportionately more likely to be unaware. 

It means that up to 10 million people across the UK could miss out on their right to vote.

Our exclusive polling found:

  • 23.8% of voters did not know about the new rules – 10 million people across the UK.
  • 32% of BAME voters did not know about the new rules, compared to 22.4% of white voters.
  • 25-34 year olds were the least likely age group to know about the new rules with 36% saying they were unaware. 31.5% of 18-24 year olds, 29.3% of 35-44 year olds, 22.4% of 45-54 year olds, 15.8 55-64 year olds and 13.2% of over-65s are unaware.
Find out more

Director of Campaigns, Georgie Laming said:

“It’s very concerning to find that almost a quarter of voters don’t know about the new photo ID rules coming into force in May. 

Voters from BAME backgrounds are 10% more likely to say they don’t know about the rules than white voters, and younger people are disproportionately more likely to be unaware as well. 

There needs to be targeted outreach to these groups to make sure that they don’t miss out on using their vote.”

Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union said:

“This new polling from HOPE not Hate is deeply concerning. It is clear that the new photo ID rules introduced by the Government could suppress the vote at this and future elections. The Government are responsible for bringing in these misguided changes. They now need to take responsibility for making sure that young people and voters from BAME backgrounds in particular are aware of the new rules so people don’t lose their right to vote”

The campaign group has launched an online map where users can enter their postcode and view the statistics in their local area. The tool lists what forms of ID you can use on polling day and encourages people to download and print off a poster to put up in community spaces reminding people to bring valid photo ID with them to the polling station on May 4th.

More information can be found at 

All polling and MRP data analysis (excluding estimates of voting population data) has been collected from a nationally representative sample of  11,199 adults between 5 April and 12 April 2023 via Focaldata. 

Number of people who don’t know about the changes calculated based on ONS 2020 population estimates.


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