Boris Johnson Turned Away From Polling Station

Man who introduced voter ID law forgot his ID
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2024 7:03 AM CDT
He Introduced Voter ID Law, Forgot His ID
Then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street to attend the weekly Prime Minister's Questions at the Houses of Parliament, in London, on May 25, 2022.   (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)

In local elections across England and Wales on Thursday, voters were required to bring photo ID under a law introduced by Boris Johnson—who forgot his ID. The former prime minister was turned away from his local polling station in South Oxfordshire, though he was able to vote later in the day after returning with ID, Sky News reports. The ID requirement was part of the Elections Act introduced by Johnson's Conservative government in 2022, the same year he resigned. Around 14,000 people were turned away from polling stations when the law took effect for the first time in local elections in May last year, reports the BBC.

The law was criticized by the UK's official election watchdog, which warned that groups less likely to vote Conservative, including poorer voters and ethnic minorities would be most affected, Politico reports. But in 2023, Jacob Rees-Mogg, a prominent member of Johnson's government, said it had backfired because many older voters, who are more inclined to vote Conservative, lacked photo ID. "So we made it hard for our own voters and we upset a system that worked perfectly well."

Full election results are due Saturday but the opposition Labour Party has already made large gains, winning a by-election and flipping large numbers of local council seats, the AP reports. A general election will be held at some point before January 2025 and analysts say that if Labour gets a similar share of the vote then, it will be a landslide bringing the party back to power for the first time since 2010. Earlier this week, sources told the Financial Times that rebel Conservatives were plotting to oust Prime Minister Rishi Sunak if the local election results were as bad as feared. A replacement would be the country's fourth PM since Johnson led the party to victory in the 2019 election. (More Boris Johnson stories.)

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