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Electoral Statistics for the UK - 2011

Electoral Statistics for the UK - 2011

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Statistical Bulletin
Office for National Statistics | 1
Electoral Statistics for UK - 2011
Coverage:
UK
Date:
22 February 2012
Geographical Areas:
Local Authority and County, Parliamentary Constituency
Theme:
Government
UK Electoral Statistics 2011
The total number of UK parliamentary electors in December 2011 was 46,107,200, an increaseof 0.6 per cent from December 2010The total number of UK local government electors in December 2011 was 47,383,500, anincrease of 0.9 per cent from December 2010In the year to December 2011, the highest growth in the number of electors has been in NorthernIreland and the lowest growth in ScotlandAt regional level within England, the highest growth in the number of parliamentary electors inthe year to December 2011 was in the East of England and the lowest in the North WestThe highest growth in the number of local government electors in the year to December 2011was in London and the lowest in the North West
Introduction
Electoral statistics are compiled by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and published for theUK and its constituent countries, local government areas and parliamentary constituencies. Theyprovide annual counts of the number of people who are on the electoral registers on 1 Decembereach year.Statistics are available for the two main classifications of voters:Parliamentary Electors – those entitled to vote in Westminster Parliamentary electionsLocal Government Electors – those entitled to vote in local government and European electionsThe main differences between who is included in these classifications of voters are related toresidence and citizenship qualifications. Local Government Electors include European Unioncitizens resident in the UK who are not entitled to vote in Westminster Parliamentary elections,
 
Electoral Statistics for UK - 2011 | 22 February 2012Office for National Statistics | 2
whilst Parliamentary Electors include British citizens resident overseas who are not entitled to votein local government elections.There are three key reasons why the registered numbers of electors in an area can change fromyear to year:a change in the size of the population who are eligible to vote; for example, due to internationalmigrationa change in the proportion of the eligible population who actually register to vote; for example,more people registering as a result of better canvassingdifferences in administative practices; for example, the extent of use of the 'carry forward',which allows for an elector to be retained on the electoral register for a year when they have notresponded to an annual canvassThis release provides counts of the number of people who were on the electoral registers on 1December 2011.
Methods, Quality and Uses
For England and Wales, electoral statistics are derived from data supplied to ONS by local ElectoralRegistration Officers at the end of December each year. Data for Scotland are similarly collectedby council areas and collated by National Records of Scotland (NRS). Data for Northern Ireland arecollected by the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland (EONI). ONS then compile statistics for the UKusing the data supplied by NRS and EONI.Further information is available from:www.ons.gov.uk/ons/guide-method/method-quality/specific/population-and-migration/uk-electoral-statistics/electoral-statistics.htmlElectoral statistics are collated and published by ONS. They are used by government and theElectoral Commission to inform the development and planning of electoral policies and for statutoryreviews of parliamentary constituency boundaries. The statistics are also of interest to Members ofParliament and the general public.Electoral statistics represent the most accurate count possible of the number of electors on 1December each year. They are subject to comprehensive quality assurance procedures and areconsistent and comparable across the UK constituent countries. Information on the quality of thesestatistics is provided in a Quality and Methodology Information paper available from:www.ons.gov.uk/ons/guide-method/method-quality/quality/quality-information/social-statistics/ index.html 
 
Electoral Statistics for UK - 2011 | 22 February 2012Office for National Statistics | 3
Parliamentary Electors
The total number of UK parliamentary electors in December 2011 was 46,107,200, an increase of0.6 per cent from December 2010.The total number of parliamentary electors in each of the UK constituent countries and thepercentage changes during the year to December 2011 are:England – 38,654,000, an increase of 0.5 per centWales – 2,298,600, an increase of 0.7 per centScotland – 3,941,600, an increase of 0.3 per centNorthern Ireland – 1,213,000, an increase of 1.9 per centOver the last five years the total number of UK parliamentary electors has increased by an averageof 0.6 per cent annually. However, different patterns of change can be seen at UK constituentcountry level. The number of electors in England has increased on average by 0.6 per cent eachyear, however the number of electors in Scotland fell between 2007 and 2009 and in Wales fellbetween 2008 and 2009. Northern Ireland has had consistently higher growth in the number ofparliamentary electors, averaging 2.5 per cent across the period 2006 to 2011.
Figure 1: Annual percentage change in parliamentary electors for UK constituent countries2006/07 to 2010/11
Source: Office for National Statistics, National Records of Scotland, Electoral Office for NorthernIreland

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