Although poll tax was abolished four years ago, its effects have lingered. At one time or another, as many as three million people may have disappeared from the electoral register.
Their return is likely to be good news for Labour, Bob Worcester, chairman of MORI, the opinion poll company, said. "There's a bias in Labour's favour among the unemployed and working classes, who are the people we could assume would be coming back to the electoral roll now."
Young people, who were also likely to stay off the register to avoid paying poll tax, have a definite bias towards Labour, says MORI. It recently found support among the 18-24 age group running at 64 per cent for Labour and 21 per cent for the Conservatives.
The poll tax, introduced to Scotland in 1989 and in the rest of Britain in 1990, obliged councils to impose a flat charge on every adult, regardless of income. Many councils used the electoral roll to build their tax lists. MORI estimated that up to 5 per cent of eligible voters did not register in order to avoid paying.Reuse content