What is the number, and how is the answer reached, of people in UK eligible to vote who are not registered to vote?


The system of voter registration changed recently in the UK to individual voter registration. A report by the Electoral Commission published in February 2015 looked in the implementation of this so far. That report pointed to a fall of approximately 2 percent in the number of entries in the electoral register compared to the February/March 2014 register which it attributed to the lack of an annual canvass of households in 2014.

Previously, the Electoral Commission published a report in July 2014 looking at the quality of the 2014 electoral registers in Great Britain under the former voter registration system called household registration.

The headline figure from that report was that the February/March 2014 parliamentary registers were 85.9 percent complete and the local government registers were 84.7 percent complete.

It also said that

  • younger people (under 35) remain considerably less likely to be registered
  • people who rent from a private landlord remain considerably less likely to be registered
  • voters of white or some Asian ethnicities are more likely to be registered than those claiming some black, mixed or other ethnicity
  • citizens of the European Union and Commonwealth are under-registered
  • those classified as social grade DE are less likely to be registered than other social grades

The Electoral Commission will next report in June 2015, after the general election, on the state of the register.

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