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Voter Registration

Volume 492: debated on Wednesday 20 May 2009

10. To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what data the Office for National Statistics gathers on the level of voter registration. (276405)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 20 May 2009:

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your question asking what data the Office for National Statistics gathers on the level of voter registration. (276405)

The Office for National Statistics collects annual counts of the number of people who are registered to vote - in Parliamentary, European and Local Government Elections - from Electoral Registration Officers in each local authority in England and Wales.

In Scotland the counts of registered voters are collated by the General Register Office for Scotland (GROS). In Northern Ireland the counts are collected by the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland (EONI).

The Office for National Statistics collates all these data to produce annual Electoral Statistics for the UK by Parliamentary Constituency and Local Authority.

ONS also produces annual estimates of the mid-year resident population of the UK. These figures can be compared to annual estimates of the mid-year resident population to provide an approximation to voter registration rates.

This is not a precise figure for voter registration rates because not everybody who is usually resident is entitled to vote and on the other hand some people may be registered in more than one area (e.g. some people with more than one address).