The voter ID debate: an analysis of political elite framing in UK Parliament

Alonso-Curbelo, A. (2023) The voter ID debate: an analysis of political elite framing in UK Parliament. Parliamentary Affairs, 76(1), pp. 62-84. (doi: 10.1093/pa/gsac003)

[img] Text
267989.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.



In 2021, the Conservative UK government announced a proposal to introduce mandatory voter identification (ID) in elections, raising concerns around how these measures might disenfranchise already marginalised groups. Using computational content analysis techniques, this study analyses all parliamentary debates to date on voter ID to understand how political elites frame these requirements. Despite voter ID being justified as necessary to tackle voter fraud when the new Elections Bill was first announced, this study instead finds both Conservative and Labour Members of Parliament agree voter fraud numbers are small. Conservatives nevertheless significantly frame voter ID as necessary to strengthen public confidence in the electoral system, which contrasts Electoral Commission’s 2021 data instead finding 90% of the public consider voting to be safe from fraud at the polling station. Overall, this study sheds light to the ‘framing contest’ and polarisation present in parliamentary debates about voter ID, an increasingly contentious issue of the proposed Elections Bill.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Alonso Curbelo, Ana
Authors: Alonso-Curbelo, A.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Journal Name:Parliamentary Affairs
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN (Online):1460-2482
Published Online:17 March 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Author
First Published:First published in Parliamentary Affairs 76(1): 62-84
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record

Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
303166Scottish Graduate School Science Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP)Mary Beth KneafseyEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/P000681/1SS - Academic & Student Administration