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To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what information he holds on the electoral registration rates for (a) 17 to 24-year-olds, (b) private sector tenants and (c) members of black and other minority ethnic groups in each of the last five years; and what steps he is taking to improve electoral registration rates in these groups.
The Government do not hold this information. The Electoral Commission's March 2010 report on the ‘Completeness and Accuracy of Electoral Registers in Great Britain’ estimated that under-registration was higher than average among 17 to 24-years-olds (56% not registered); private sector tenants (49%); and black and minority ethnic British residents (31%).
However, the report makes clear that the process of estimating registration rates is an “imprecise science” and says that “all current approaches to estimating the completeness and accuracy of the electoral registers at a national level are imperfect”.
The introduction of individual electoral registration will allow the Government to take steps to improve the completeness of the electoral register. This includes funding the Electoral Commission to carry out research to provide a robust national measure of completeness and accuracy of the registers. Further research will be conducted to measure completeness and accuracy both before and after the move to individual electoral registration.