Progress with the canvass: July - September 2020


This report highlights the key findings from our engagement with EROs from July to September 2020, and also draws out some examples of good practice which have emerged.


This year’s annual electoral registration canvass in Great Britain is the first to be held under the new reformed canvass process. These changes were designed to give Electoral Registration Officers (EROs) more flexibility in how they approach the canvass and to enable them to focus their resources on those households where there is most likely to have been a change in composition.

Following national and local data matching:

  • 73% of properties were allocated to Route 1 – the matched property route. This is the route EROs use to canvass properties where they are satisfied that there are no changes needed at that property and they have no reason to believe that there are any additional electors to be added.
  • 26% of properties were allocated to Route 2, which is the route EROs use where they think changes are needed to the register.

In addition to enabling EROs to focus their resources on targeting those properties where changes are needed, the reformed canvass has also given EROs greater flexibility as to the channels they use to communicate with electors. This ability to use the likes of phone and e-mail has proved particularly beneficial in helping EROs to deliver the canvass against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, reducing the number of in-person visits that are required.

We will continue to engage with EROs and their teams over the remainder of the canvass and throughout the period leading up to the May 2021 elections, and will report on the findings from our engagement and an analysis of the data and information that has been collected, after the publication of the revised registers.

Brighton and Hove City Council: E-mail canvassing

Lambeth: personal canvassing

Last updated: 26 November 2020
Next review: 19 November 2021