Postal voting on demand was one of the New Labour governments plans to deal with falling electoral turnout.
Postal votes had been available to those working overseas (for example servicemen) since 1945 but in 2001 the rules changed to enable anyone who wanted a postal vote to have one. The idea was to help the elderly and the disabled who may struggle to get to a polling station or people who were away from home while the polling stations were open but were normally resident in the UK.
However, the downside of a postal vote is that the security and secrecy of electoral ballots has been seen to be compromised. Is it democratic that someone else could fill in your ballot on your behalf, or is it fair for other people to watch and influence how you vote? Neither of these things are permitted at a polling station but in the privacy of your own living room the secrecy of your ballot cannot necessarily be guaranteed.
Earlier this month calls were made to scrap postal voting on demand for the good of British democracy.