THE Electoral Reform Society has said they know of “countless examples” of would-be voters being turned away from polling stations in England because of strict new election rules requiring photographic ID.

They claimed people were being refused entry to the polling station because they did not have ID, or the right ID or look enough like the photograph on their ID.

The new legislation has proved controversial. 

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said that if anyone was turned away for not having the correct form of ID it would be an “indictment on the government”.

More than 8,000 council seats in England are up for grabs in what will likely be the last major vote ahead of the next general election. 

Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives are expecting a hammering, with the party expecting big losses. 

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Jess Garland, the Electoral Reform Society’s director of policy and research, said: “We’re already seeing countless examples of people being denied their right to vote due to these new laws.

“From people caught out by having the wrong type of photo ID to others turned away for not looking enough like their photo.

“One voter turned away is one voter too many. The Government must take lessons from the problems we’re seeing today at polling stations across the country and face up to the fact that these new rules damage our elections more than they protect them.”

However, the Association of Electoral Administrators said the polls were “running as smoothly as usual”.

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Chief executive Peter Stanyon said: “Polling day appears to be running as smoothly as usual, which is testament to the months of planning and hard work from returning officers and electoral administrators running today’s elections.

“We hope the rest of the day continues along the same lines.”

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Sir Keir Starmer said: "I don’t want to see anybody turning up not knowing that they needed ID, because the government bore full responsibility for making sure that everybody who can vote knows they have got to bring that ID.

“We will be watching carefully to see where responsibility lies.”

The Tories are currently far behind Labour in the polls. One recent Opinium survey predicted Sir Keir's party winning 44% of the vote, compared to the Tories on 26%.

The Prime Minister, speaking at event on Wednesday, reportedly told colleagues: “We should be prepared that tomorrow night is going to be hard for us.

“Good councillors will lose their seats because of all that has happened over the past year.”

He added: “I’ve only been Prime Minister for six months but I do believe we’re making good progress. Just think about where we were then and where we are now."

Tory party chairman Greg Hands claimed they could lose around 1,000 council seats.

Though the result may not be so bad, as the party had a poor election when the seats were last contest in 2018, when Theresa May was prime minister and the Tories were split over Brexit.