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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

Regist e r (date of publication)

Date of publication
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 2010 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

Individual Electoral Registration (IER)

As part of our role, we are monitoring the transition to the new system of Individual Electoral Registration (IER) throughout its different stages.

Find out more about our plan for monitoring IER (PDF) 

Below you can find all of our evaluation reports published since the start of the transition in June 2014.

Report title Dataset Date of publication
Assessment of December 2015 electoral registers in Great Britain (PDF)Electoral statistics 2015 (from Office for National Statistics) February 2016
Assessment of progress with the transition to Individual Electoral Registration: May 2015 electoral registers in Great Britain (PDF) May 2015 electoral registers data (XLS) June 2015
Analysis of the March 2015 registers in Scotland (PDF)Electoral statistics 2014 (from Office for National Statistics) April 2105
Analysis of the December 2014 registers in England and Wales (PDF) February 2015
Confirmation Live Run 2014 (CLR) in Scotland: report and analysis (PDF)

Local authority and ward level results (Zip File - XLS and CSV)

Map of results by local authority

Map of results by parliamentary constituency

November 2014
Confirmation Live Run 2014 (CLR) in England and Wales: report and analysis (PDF) October 2014

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.

Pilots

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.

Research