To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, what assessment the Electoral Commission has made of the introduction of individual electoral registration on voter registration in each (a) 10-year cohort from 18 onwards, (b) socio-economic grouping and (c) ethnic grouping.
The Electoral Commission informs me that its analysis of the results of the nationwide test of the confirmation process, to be used during transition to individual electoral registration, showed that young people are less likely to be matched with the Department for Work and Pensions database. However, it was not possible to conduct a detailed analysis by 10-year age band as an elector's age is not held on the registers.
There was no evidence that the matching process is less successful for different socio-economic groups or for different ethnic groups.
This dry run of confirmation also means electoral registration officers (EROs) will know where in their area will have lower match rates and where they therefore need to target their efforts in encouraging people to register individually under the new system.
The Electoral Commission's planning for the introduction of IER has taken account of the Cabinet Office funded research study: ‘Under-registered Groups and Individual Electoral Registration (June 2012)’ available here: