Around 89 per cent of the UK’s 13 million disabled citizens will vote in the general election, according to a disability charity, Scope.
In a statement released following Theresa May’s snap general election call, Mark Atkinson, chief executive of Scope, said: “Scope’s polling of disabled people and their priorities for Government highlight that 70 per cent of disabled people believe disability benefits should be protected, 56 per cent believe there should be an increase in investment in social care and 54 per cent believe action should be taken on the extra costs disabled people face.
“There are 13 million disabled people in Britain – a hugely significant number of votes – and 89 per cent have said they will vote at the next election.”
As well as revealing this crucial voting information, the charity also advised the candidates of the June 2017 election to listen to the concerns, hopes and aspirations of disabled people “so that any government can build a country that works better for disabled people and delivers everyday equality”.
In response to Scope’s figures, a column posted on The Independent asked British voters to consider each candidate’s voting history on disability and welfare issues before casting their ballot papers: “The reason that number is worth paying attention to is that if the 89 per cent are true to their word, and if they use their franchise to hold the Government to account for its brutal treatment of disabled people, it might just spell trouble for Theresa May’s dreams of a three-figure majority.”
The recent decision by the Conservative government to reduce access to Personal Independence Payments (PIP) has proved detrimental to many disabled people, including mobility scooter users. Since the change, news reports have highlighted the plight of many forced to appeal against decisions to cut or even remove their disability allowance. So, if Scope’s polling is accurate, the 13 million disabled voters in the UK could be very influential.