Final analysis: Huge increase in voter registration compared to 2017 election

Posted on the 27th November 2019

  • Statement from the Electoral Reform Society, Wednesday 27th November – for IMMEDIATE RELEASE.Contact [email protected] / 07794728820

There has been a huge increase in voter registration compared to the 2017 election, according to analysis by the Electoral Reform Society.

This year there were 3,850,859 applications to register in the period from the day the election was called (29th Oct) to yesterday’s deadline (29 days). That’s an average of nearly 133,000 per day.

The figure is 31% higher than the 2,938,291 applications to register ahead of the 2017 election (35 days). That equated to an average of nearly 84,000 registrations per day [1].

In 2019, 912,568 more applications have been made during the period between the election being called and the day before the voter registration deadline, than the same period in 2017.

Further analysis:

  • In 2019 there have been 3,850,859 applications to register in the period from the day the election was voted for in the House of Commons (29 Oct) up to and including the voter registration deadline (26 Nov). This period covers 29 days.
  • In 2017 there were 2,938,291 applications to register in the period from the day the PM called the election (18 April) up to and including the voter registration deadline (22 May). This period covers 35 days.
  • In 2019, 912,568 more applications have been made during the period between the election being called and the voter registration deadline, than were made during the same period in 2017.
  • Of the applications made during this period in 2019, 2,584,732 applications (67% of the total) were made by people aged 34 or under.
  • Of the applications made during this period in 2017, 2,023,988 applications (69% of the total) were made by people aged 34 or under.
  • On the day of the voter registration deadline, 659,666 people applied to register. 70% of these applications (459,668) came from people aged 34 or under
  • In 2017, 622,398 applications were made on the day of the voter registration deadline (22 May 2017). Of these, 73% (453,146 applications) came from people aged 34 or under.
  • Based on the 2017 duplicates figure (36.9%), around 1.4m of the 3.8m are likely to be duplicates.
  • That suggests that millions could still be missing from the electoral roll today.

Dr Jess Garland, Director of Policy and Research at the Electoral Reform Society, said:

“The rise in registrations at ahead of yesterday’s deadline is highly encouraging, especially given the huge numbers of people missing from the electoral roll.

“We’ve seen a big increase in registrations since the election was called compared to 2017 which is more remarkable given the shorter timeframe. We’ve seen huge numbers of young people signing up – a traditionally under-registered demographic.

“Whilst this represents a strong start, more needs to be done to close the demographic divides in voter registration. For too long certain groups of voters have been missing from the register and as a result not had their voices heard at election time.

“We urgently need to update our archaic registration system to bring in the ‘missing millions’. Britain needs a registration revolution, to ensure the right to vote isn’t a lottery but is something secured for all.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

The ERS are leading a coalition of civil society groups and campaigners to back steps towards automatic voter registration, as used in many other advanced democracies.

Earlier this week they wrote in the Times: https://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/latest-news-and-research/media-centre/press-releases/leading-charities-campaign-groups-and-experts-unite-behind-huge-voter-registration-drive-and-call-for-system-overhaul/

December 5th will be ‘Democracy Day’ to put issues like this on the political agenda: https://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/latest-news-and-research/media-centre/press-releases/forward-planning-note-december-5th-declared-democracy-day-amid-party-silence-on-political-reform/

[1] For 2017, the ERS use figures from the day the PM called the election (18 April) up to and including the day before the voter registration deadline (21 May). This period covers 34 days, as it is best to compare the periods from the day the election was called, until the day before the voting deadline and gives a more realistic picture. The day an election is called is a key trigger for people to think about whether they are registered, and there were big spikes in registration applications on the day that both the GE17 & GE19 elections were called.

Read more posts...

Campaigners call for parties to back ‘vital’ Senedd reforms

Electoral Reform Society Cymru throws weight behind official Committee on Senedd Reform findings: “Now is the time to act to level up Welsh democracy”. Statement from the Electoral Reform Society Cymru – Thursday 10th September...

Posted 10 Sep 2020