Nottingham, UK, 7 April 2014 – Experian®, the global information services company, has today revealed that Scotland saw a 38 per cent leap in the number of young people who became eligible to vote during the latest local authority annual canvass and registered to vote for the first time1.
Across the UK, nearly 47.5 million people registered to vote, representing a small drop of 0.8 per cent compared to the year before2. The fall in voter registrations was led by England and Northern Ireland - down 1.1 per cent and 0.5 per cent.
Scotland, however, saw 54,813 more people registering to vote overall in the latest annual canvass – an increase of 1.1 per cent. This included 18,276 more registrations from young people (38 per cent increase) who became eligible to vote and registered on the latest roll.
Across the UK, there was a 6.1 per cent increase in the number of people who came of age and signed up to the Electoral Register. Wales also saw the number of youngsters signing up to vote for the first time increase by 10.2 per cent, while England saw an increase of 2.9 per cent.
The analysis comes as Experian updates people’s credit reports with the latest 2013/4 electoral roll data from local councils across the UK following their annual canvasses.
Jonathan Westley, Managing Director of Consumer Information Services at Experian UK & Ireland, comments: “The increased voter registrations in Scotland particularly could be related to the forthcoming referendum, including the lowering of the minimum voting age. However, being able to vote is not the only benefit of being on the electoral roll. It forms a vital part of the information that providers use to help them make responsible and safe decisions about who to extend their services to. It could affect access to credit, ability to shop over the internet or obtain a passport or apply for certain jobs, such as in financial services.
“When the registration process moves from household to individual this summer, it is important that people recognise the valuable role it plays in their lives and ensure they register.”
Led by young voters, Scotland and Wales see total voter registrations increase
As the UK witnessed a slight drop in the number of people registering to vote overall, the trend in Scotland was more positive with Gordon local authority leading the way. The council recorded 3.4 per cent more people registering vote.
The only areas of Scotland where there were fewer voter registrations compared to the previous annual canvass were Refrewshire – Inverclyde (down 3.2 per cent), Dumfries and Galloway, and Shetland (both down 0.5 per cent).
Wales also saw registrations increase by 0.23 per cent – 5,269 more voters registered. Councils located in the south led the increases, with Caerphilly seeing the highest increase - 3.1 per cent more voter registrations.
In England, by far the biggest increase came from Tower Hamlets which saw 11.4 per cent more registrations than last year, representing 18,453 more voters.
For more information about how and why registering to vote plays a key role in access to services, please visit: http://www.experian.co.uk/assets/consumer/downloads/resources/electoralroll-oct11.pdf
1Those who became eligible to vote during the period of the latest annual canvass and registered.
2Based on an analysis of the 2013/4 full electoral register, which included data supplied by 233 out of 235 local authorities at the time of release.
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 2013 was US$4.7 billion. Experian employs approximately 17,000 people in 40 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 http://www.experianplc.com.