To ask the hon. Member for Houghton and Sunderland South, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, what the Commission's most recent estimate is for the number of eligible people who are (a) not on the electoral register and (b) not registered correctly; and how the Commission calculated this estimate.
The Electoral Commission undertakes periodic research into the accuracy and completeness of the electoral registers in the UK. Information is collected from a sample of households, and details of residents are then matched against actual register entries to generate the estimates of accuracy and completeness.
The last study assessed the December 2015 registers and was published in 2016. The Commission found that:
By applying these estimates to Office for National Statistics data, the Commission calculated that:
This does not mean that these people were entirely missing from the registers; many will have had an entry at a previous address. It is not possible to determine this figure because of the absence of a consistent, unique identifier for individual electors on the registers.
The results of the Commission’s next accuracy and completeness study will be published in the coming months.