- The local government registers in Great Britain were 89% accurate, and the parliamentary registers were 89% accurate.
- In December 2018, 11% of entries had major errors and 9% of register entries had minor errors
Type of errors
Both the local government registers and parliamentary registers in Great Britain were 89% accurate.
Type of errors
In analysing the accuracy of the electoral registers, a number of different types of error can be identified. These errors are then categorised as either a ‘major’ or ‘minor’ error.
The major error category is comprised of the following:
- entries which refer to individuals that no longer live that address
- entries which may prevent an individual casting their vote at a polling station (for example, an incorrect name);
- those errors that would mean that someone could vote when they are not eligible to do so (for example, an incorrect date of birth for someone under 18).
Minor errors are those which would not prevent someone from casting their vote. For example, an entry with a spelling error.
In total, 11% of entries had a major error (up from 9% in 2015). The most common being that no corresponding name was collected through our survey at that address (10%). This refers to register entries for individuals who no longer live at the property.
9% of register entries had minor errors. The most common was for a middle name to be missing from the register which was the case for 6% of register entries.
Here is a breakdown of the types of errors used to calculate the accuracy of the local government registers.
|December 2015||December 2018|
|Major errors total||9.4%||11.2%|
|No corresponding name taken at address|
|First name and/or surname wrong on register||0.1%||0.4%|
|First name and/or surname missing on register||-||0.0%|
|UK/Irish/Commonwealth marker present||0.2%||0.3%|
|Major errors- (c)||0.3%||0.5%|
|Name on survey corresponds to ineligible name on survey||0.1%||0.2%|
|Attainers- DOB missing or wrong||0.1%||0.1%|
|EU ctiziens marker missing||0.1%||0.2%|
|Accurate with minor errors||10.4%||9.1%|
|First name and/or surname on register misspelled||1.0%||1.2%|
|First name/surname on register incomplete||0.5%||0.5%|
|Middle name missing from register||7.8%||6.4%|
|Middle name or initials misspelled or incomplete on register||0.1%||0.0%|
|Middle name or initial wrong on register||0.1%||0.1%|
|Person does not have a middle name but middle name on registers (respondents only)||0.2%||1.3%|
|Surname is/assumed to be previous surname||0.5%||0.3%|
|First/middle/surname in different order on register||0.1%||0.1%|
|DOB earlier on register for attainer||0.0%||0.0%|
Examining the demographic nature of inaccuracy on the electoral registers is more challenging.
It is not possible to record demographic details for register entries which are not matched to a resident during an interview. Nor is it possible to take into account properties which are derelict or entirely vacant.
In order to provide some guidance to the patterns of accuracy by different household characteristics, the analysis below takes into account household data where a resident was interviewed. However, this data still only presents a limited picture and so must be treated with caution.
Accuracy by tenure follows a similar pattern to completeness, with owner-occupier households the most likely to have accurate register entries (95%).
Households where the home is being bought on a mortgage (or through shared ownership), or rented from a social landlord have a similar level of accuracy (91-95%), while private rented households have a lower level of accuracy, at 81%.
Social grade is also calculated at the household level, based on the occupation of the chief income earner.
Here again, the pattern of accuracy is closely related with completeness with a slight gradient by social grade, with AB households the most accurate and DE households least. However, all are within five percentage points of each other.
Length of time at address
Accuracy follows the same pattern as completeness when looking at how long households have occupied their accommodation.
Accuracy is similar for all households who have been at their present address for at least one year, at 93% or higher, but is much lower for households where the current resident has been living for less than a year (56%).