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|
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|
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.
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)
|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)||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:
- IER Form design: 2015 qualitative research to test Scotland versions (PDF)
- IER Form design: Qualitative research - Wave 1 (PDF)
- IER Form design: Qualitative research - Wave 2 (PDF)
- IER Letter testing: Qualitative research - Report (PDF)
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.
- Results analysis - October 2013 (PDF)
- Map of the results by local authority and parliamentary constituency
We are statutorily required to evaluate pilot schemes that test data matching between the electoral registers and other national databases.
- Data mining pilot: evaluation report – July 2013 (PDF)
- Data-mining pilot 2013: Overall results table (XLS)
- Data matching pilot: confirmation process evaluation report – April 2013 (PDF)
- Interim evaluation of confirmation data matching pilots - December 2012 (PDF)
- Data matching schemes to improve accuracy and completeness of the electoral registers: evaluation – March 2012 (PDF)
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.