With opinion polls suggesting that the General Election is too close to call, there is a real possibility that the election could be decided by the Russell Brand’s of this world. Indeed, people failing to vote could help determine whether David Cameron or Ed Milliband will get into Number 10.
Davis Winnick MP called for voting in elections to be made a “civic duty’. He introduced a bill before the House of Commons and argued that: “The right to vote is the most fundamental tenet of democracy and yet millions do not exercise it.”
In Australia, where a similar law exists, 93% of the public voted in the last General Election. This compares to just 65% in the UK – when 16 million registered voters did not vote.
Personally, I do not favour making it illegal to fail to vote. I would give everyone who votes five lottery tickets – with a chance to win a million pounds. Such an approach would encourage voting.
Dr Peter Jepson is the editor of LawsBlog. He tweets as @LawsBlog