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Individual Voter Registration (Scotland)

Volume 587: debated on Thursday 30 October 2014

7. What recent progress has been made in the transition to individual voter registration in Scotland. (905735)

Owing to the recent referendum, the transition to individual voter registration in Scotland started only on 19 September. The commission will report on initial progress of the transition in November, with similar information to be published on its recent analysis of progress made in England and Wales, where 87% of electors were matched and can be automatically transferred to the new register.

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his answer. Unfortunately, I have wards in my constituency where fewer than 50% of people were successfully matched. Given that record numbers registered for and participated in last month’s referendum, including, particularly, 16 and 17-year-olds, what steps will be taken to ensure that young people are encouraged to do individual voter registration if they are not properly matched under the existing arrangements?

I can give an assurance to the hon. Lady. First, as I said earlier, it is now possible to register online, and for younger people, in particular, that is now very easy to do. Secondly, a public awareness campaign has been launched in Scotland, as I hope that many of her constituents are aware. Finally, and crucially, no one will come off the register between now and May 2015. If they are on the register today—or were on it a month or two months ago—they will be able to vote in May 2015. That is an important message.