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.
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.
Following the campaign, there were statistically significant increases in both the proportion of people who registered to vote and in the proportion who voted.
People with learning disabilities are more likely to vote if made aware of their rights and supported to do so.
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.
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
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