The Electoral Commission

The independent body which oversees elections and regulates political finance in the UK

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Provisional electorate figures published ahead of the EU referendum

Published: 21 Jun 2016

Today the Electoral Commission has published the provisional electorate figures for the UK and Gibraltar ahead of the EU referendum on Thursday 23 June. The final electorate for the referendum cannot be confirmed until 9pm on polling day as in some limited circumstances changes can still be made to the registers up to that point.

Data collected from the 382 local voting areas shows the provisional size of the UK and Gibraltar electorate indicates a UK record of 46,499,537. This figure is the total number of electors eligible to vote in Thursday’s poll. The number of entries on the UK parliamentary registers following the early end to the transition to Individual Electoral Registration in December 2015 was 44,441,081.

The previous record UK electorate for a similar franchise to that used at the EU referendum was the 46,354,197 voters registered prior to the UK Parliamentary General Election in 2015. The previous record for any UK wide election was the 46,487,579 voters registered at the European Parliamentary Elections in 2014, although these elections use a different franchise to that which will be used for the EU Referendum.

The franchise for the EU referendum is the same as that for UK Parliamentary elections, with the addition of peers and citizens of Gibraltar who can vote in European Parliamentary elections. EU citizens are not eligible to vote in the EU Referendum unless they otherwise meet the eligibility criteria.

The size of the electorate for the referendum across the UK and Gibraltar is:

RegionEligible electorate: EU referendumEligible electorate: UKPGE May 2015Entries on UK parliamentary registers in Dec 2015
Northern Ireland1,260,9551,236,7651,238,019

The original deadline to register to vote at the EU referendum was midnight on Tuesday 7 June. Problems with the Government’s registration website during the final hours before the deadline resulted in the UK Parliament passing legislation to extend the registration deadline in Great Britain for 48 hours to midnight on Thursday 9 June.  You can find out more about what happened here.

The full list of figures for each local voting area is available on the Electoral Commission website.


For further information contact:
Daneka Norman in the Electoral Commission press office on 020 271 0704 or

Out of office hours 07789 920 414

Notes to editors

1. The Electoral Commission is an independent body set up by the UK Parliament. Our aim is integrity and public confidence in the UK’s democratic process. We regulate party and election finance and set standards for well-run elections and are responsible for the conduct and regulation of referendums held under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act (2000).
2. The Electoral Commission has published a full spreadsheet detailing figures from each local voting area. This is available here.
3. The EU referendum will use the UK Parliamentary franchise. To be eligible to vote in the EU Referendum, you must be:
* A British or Irish citizen living in the UK, or
* A Commonwealth citizen living in the UK who has leave to remain in the UK or who does not require leave to remain in the UK, or
* A British citizen living overseas who has been registered to vote in the UK in the last 15 years, or
* An Irish citizen living overseas who was born in Northern Ireland and who has been registered to vote in Northern Ireland in the last 15 years.
4. EU citizens are not eligible to vote in the EU Referendum unless they also meet the eligibility criteria above.
5. Changes to the electoral register can be made after publication of the last scheduled update to the register and up to 9pm on polling day to correct a clerical error or to give effect to the result of a court appeal.
6. The final electorate figure will be known after 9pm on polling day and will be published on the Commission’s website.
7. More information on the count process and the estimated declaration timings for the 382 local voting areas can be found on the Commission’s website.
8. The Gibraltar Parliament and UK Government both made changes to legislation to allow for an extension of the deadline to register to vote ahead of the EU referendum.