Scotland’s Electoral Data 2: Post-deadline registrations

The data:

The Electoral Commission publishes data on all of the UK’s elections. As well as results, this includes data on turnout, vote validity, registration and much more. You can explore this data yourself here:

http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/our-work/our-research/electoral-data

The analysis:

This second electoral data analysis looks specifically at electoral registrations received after the pre-ballot registrations deadline.

They were used along with electorate data to determine the post-deadline applications as a percentage of the total electorate, at a local authority level.

Heat maps were then created showing spatial variation of this factor across Scotland for both the EU Referendum in 2016 and for the Independence Referendum in 2014. Data was not available for general and parliamentary elections at a local authority level, therefore it was not possible to consider the 2015 UK General Election and 2016 Scottish Parliamentary Election.

The outputs:

Figure 1: Local Authority heat mapping: post-deadline electoral registration applications
Figure 2: Post-deadline registration — some numbers
Figure 3: Post Deadline Voter Registration by Local Authority

Questions:

Several spring to mind — and here are 5 to start others thinking:

  1. Does registration spike in any pre-ballot period? What is a normal non-election year background rate?
  2. What were the particular circumstances behind the Glasgow City ~9,500 and >2% electorate spike seen in Figure 3 for the 2016 EU Referendum?
  3. How much churn is there in electoral registration — of that approximate 20,000 how may were already registered elsewhere?
  4. How can technology help close the time gap between registration and polling?
  5. How does the registered electorate compare in size to the potentially eligible electorate?
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