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Service Voter Registration

Volume 532: debated on Tuesday 13 September 2011

I have today placed in the Library of the House a copy of the report of a survey on service voter registration levels in 2010 conducted by Defence Analytical Services and Advice in January 2011. As in previous years the survey was conducted to provide an estimate of the numbers of armed forces personnel who are currently registered to vote, and to assess the success of our information campaign.

I welcome the survey. It indicates that 75% of service personnel are registered to vote, up from 69% in 2009 and 60% in 2005. This represents the highest level of service registration since I first raised the issue back in 2005. Of those registered in 2010, the majority (77%) chose to register as ordinary rather than service voters. The level of voters registered as overseas voters has remained at 1%.

We recognise that there is still work to be done. Alongside the challenges presented by service mobility and the high proportion of young personnel in our armed forces, the results of the survey will help to inform how and where we should best concentrate our efforts in the future. We continue to work closely with our colleagues in the Cabinet Office and the Electoral Commission to further improve the quality and timeliness of information available to our service personnel and their families. It remains our firm commitment to improve arrangements for the service community to enable them to play a full part in the electoral process.