UK voter registrations increase in 2012

news release

UK voter registrations increase in 2012

Scotland leads the way in voter registrations
Further analysis suggests working class and disadvantaged families most likely to register to vote 

Nottingham, 28 December 2012 — New analysis from Experian®, the global information services company today reveals that 46.8 million people are now registered to vote across the UK. This represents an increase of 0.77 per cent compared to 20111

The latest analysis comes as Experian uploads 2012 electoral roll data from over 460 local authorities, revealing that local authorities in Scotland saw some of the highest increases in voter registrations.

Further analysis of the latest edited electoral register suggests reveals that those who register to vote are most likely to be from working class families, while young professionals continue to be the most absent from the electoral register2.

Geographical analysis
Experian’s analysis of the full electoral registers reveals that among the local authorities to see the biggest increases, Scotland fared well with Clackmannan (up 3.92 per cent), West Lothian (up 3.83 per cent), Edinburgh City (up 3.53 per cent) and Inverness (up 3.51 per cent) all featuring in the top ten authorities.

The biggest surge in voter registrations came from Three Rivers, a local government district in Hertfordshire in the East of England - a rise of 4.04 per cent, from 65,534 in 2011 to 68,182 on 2012.

While the total number of people registered to vote has risen across the country, there are some pockets of the UK where numbers are falling.

Among the 70 local authorities to see voter registrations fall, Tower Hamlets, a London borough in the East End, experienced the biggest drop. Voter registrations were down 6.06 per cent, from 171,896 in 2011 to 161,478 in 2012. Three other local authorities also saw big reductions in voter registrations, including Durham (down 5.85 per cent), East Lindsey (down 3.40 per cent) and Cambridge (down 2.64 per cent).

Demographic insight
Further analysis by Experian of the latest edited electoral roll data using its Mosaic classification suggests that people classed as Industrial Heritage are more likely to register on the UK electoral roll than any other group in the UK. This demographic consists of traditional, conservative families or couples living on below average incomes in communities that historically have been dependent on manufacturing for their livelihood.

This was closely followed by the Claimant Culture group, consisting of some of the most disadvantaged families in the UK, reliant on benefits and living in low-rise council housing.

At the other side of the spectrum, Experian’s data shows that there is a lower presence of young and single professionals on the edited electoral roll. Leading this is the Liberal Opinions group, which represents young, professional and well educated people, usually between 18 and 25, cosmopolitan in their tastes, who enjoy the vibrancy and diversity of inner city living.

The second demographic group least likely to appear on the electoral roll is Upper Floor Living, consisting of those on limited incomes who rent small flats from local councils or housing associations. Typically these people are young single people or young adults sharing a flat. 

This analysis suggests that household consisting of families and couples having a higher representation on the edited electoral register.

Jonathan Westley, Managing Director of Experian’s Consumer Information Services business in the UK, commented: “Certain locations and sectors of the population still need to be encouraged to register on the electoral roll in this country. It is critical in getting people engaged not just in politics, but also in society as it can open the door to many other services. Having a presence on the electoral register could impact positively on an individual’s access to credit and many other services from both the public and private sectors. 

"As this information is also used for other purposes, it plays a vital role in helping lenders and service providers in the public and private sectors verify the identity and residence of an applicant and to, therefore, make an informed and responsible decision.”


[1] Based on an analysis of the 2012 full electoral register, which included data supplied by 457 out of 462 local authorities at the time of release.
[2] Based on a separate analysis of the 2012 edited electoral register.


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The geographical highlights were drawn from the full 2012 electoral register and based on the data received from 457 out of 462 Local Authorities at the time of release.

Findings around the Mosaic classifications are based on the analysis of the edited version of the 2012 electoral register. 

Information on the Electoral Register is one of a number of data sources used to validate the identities of applicants and improve the accuracy of lending decisions. When uploading electoral roll data, Experian has applied a rigorous series of checks and processes to ensure that the information is secure, accurate, and fit-for-purpose.

About Experian
Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients around the world. The Group helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2012 was US$4.5 billion. Experian employs approximately 17,000 people in 44 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and São Paulo, Brazil. For more information, visit