Key findings

  • 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.

Accuracy errors, Great Britain, 2015 and 2018
 December 2015December 2018
Major errors total9.4%11.2%
Major errors-(a)8.8%10.4%
No corresponding name taken at address
Major errors-(b)0.3%0.7%
First name and/or surname wrong on register0.1%0.4%
First name and/or surname missing on register-0.0%
UK/Irish/Commonwealth marker present0.2%0.3%
Major errors- (c)0.3%0.5%
Name on survey corresponds to ineligible name on survey0.1%0.2%
Attainers- DOB missing or wrong0.1%0.1%
EU ctiziens marker missing0.1%0.2%
Accurate with minor errors10.4%9.1%
First name and/or surname on register misspelled1.0%1.2%
First name/surname on register incomplete0.5%0.5%
Middle name missing from register7.8%6.4%
Middle name or initials misspelled or incomplete on register0.1%0.0%
Middle name or initial wrong on register0.1%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 surname0.5%0.3%
First/middle/surname in different order on register0.1%0.1%
DOB earlier on register for attainer0.0%0.0%

Demographic characteristics

Last updated: 26 September 2019
Next review: 2 September 2020