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Participation of learning disabled people in the parliamentary election of 2019 in the United Kingdom

Elaine James (Health and Well-being Bradford Council, Britannia House, Department of Health and Well-Being, City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, Bradford, UK)
Chris Hatton (Faculty of Health, Psychology and Social Care, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)
Rob Mitchell (Health and Well-being Bradford Council, Britannia House, Department of Health and Well-Being, City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, Bradford, UK)

Tizard Learning Disability Review

ISSN: 1359-5474

Article publication date: 10 June 2021

Issue publication date: 6 July 2021

80

Abstract

Purpose

Participation of people with learning disabilities in the United Kingdom (UK) Parliamentary Elections has previously been found to be lower than that of non-learning disabled peers. This paper aims to consider whether an intervention to support the right to take part in democratic and political life may result in increased participation rates.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were gathered by social workers from 135 learning disabled people about their voter registration and voting in the May 2019 UK local government election. Social workers subsequently ran a promote the vote campaign with this cohort and gathered the same data in respect of the December 2019 UK Parliamentary Election.

Findings

Following the campaign, there were statistically significant increases in both the proportion of people who registered to vote and in the proportion who voted.

Originality/value

People with learning disabilities are more likely to vote if made aware of their rights and supported to do so.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to note particular thanks to Megan Taylor for her contribution to the coordination of the Promote the Vote project. Funding: This is an independent paper, which reflects the views of the authors only.

Citation

James, E., Hatton, C. and Mitchell, R. (2021), "Participation of learning disabled people in the parliamentary election of 2019 in the United Kingdom", Tizard Learning Disability Review, Vol. 26 No. 2, pp. 65-72. https://doi.org/10.1108/TLDR-07-2020-0014

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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