The independent elections watchdog
and regulator of party and election finance

Section menu

Electoral registration research

We have produced a number of research reports looking into various issues around electoral registration.

Accuracy and completeness of the registers

We regularly measure the quality of the electoral registers in Great Britain and Northern Ireland to assess how this changes in response to legislative developments, administrative and population changes.

The quality of the registers are measured through two criteria:

  • Accuracy refers to the percentage of register entries that correctly refer to people who are eligible to be registered and are residents at the address the entry refers to.
  • Completeness refers to the percentage of eligible people registered at their current address.

Great Britain and Northern Ireland have two different electoral registration systems and studies have therefore been conducted separately.

Report title Area covered

Register (date of publication)

Date of publication
The December 2015 electoral register in Northern Ireland (PDF) Northern Ireland December 2015 September 2016

The December 2015 electoral registers in Great Britain (PDF)

Appendices (PDF)

Country factsheets

Read our factsheets on the December 2015 electoral registers in:

Great Britain December 2015 July 2016
The quality of the 2014 electoral registers in Great Britain (PDF) Great Britain February/March 2014 July 2014
Electoral registration in 2011 in Great Britain (PDF) Great Britain December 2010/April 2011 July 2014
Continuous electoral registration in Northern Ireland(PDF) Northern Ireland April 2012 November 2012
Great Britain's electoral registers (PDF) Great Britain April 2011 December 2011
The completeness and accuracy of electoral registers in Great Britain (PDF) Great Britain December 2009 March 2010
Electoral registration in Northern Ireland: accuracy and comprehensiveness (PDF) Northern Ireland December 2007 September 2008
Understanding electoral registration in England and Wales (PDF) England & Wales December 2000 September 2005

Forms and letters testing

We also conducted qualitative research and user-testing on forms, materials and letters that have been used during the transition to IER:

Data matching evaluations

Confirmation dry-run 2013

This paper presents the results of the confirmation dry run (CDR) and its implications for the introduction of IER.


We are statutorily required to evaluate pilot schemes that test data matching between the electoral registers and other national databases.

Performance standards

The Electoral Administration Act 2006 allows us to set and monitor performance standards for electoral services.

We also collect information on the costs of electoral services from Electoral Registration Officers, Returning Officers and Referendum Counting Officers in Great Britain.

Performance standards data and reports are available in our Performance standards section.