The Government has no plans to change the voting age, having been elected on a manifesto commitment to retain the current franchise at 18.
The Government has no plans to introduce automatic registration. The Government considers registering to vote (and voting) to be a civic duty, but does not believe it should be compulsory. With online registration, the Government has made it easier than ever for those who want to to register.
The Cabinet Office does not hold information on eligible electors who are not registered to vote for an election. Numbers registered for electoral events are published by the Electoral Commission. Reports on the 2015, 2017, and 2019 General Elections have been produced by the Electoral Commission and are available online at www.electoralcommission.org.uk.
Some headline registration statistics by area published by the Office for National Statistics. The latest bulletin is available at www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/elections/electoralregistration.
The Cabinet Office has recently considered creating a live registration status check. There are technical, security and privacy issues but the Cabinet Office will continue to see whether future developments provide a feasible and cost-effective solution in coming years.
The Government believes that there is no clear evidence that voting on a national holiday would lead to an increase in turnout.
The Government was elected on a manifesto pledge to continue to support First Past the Post for parliamentary elections. The First Past the Post system is a robust and secure way of electing Members of Parliament. It ensures a clear link between elected representatives and constituents in a manner that systems of Proportional Representation may not. This ensures that MPs can represent the interests of their constituents when debating national issues.
The UK Government works closely with ministers and officials in devolved administrations on a range of issues relating to elections, including electoral registration issues. Details of discussions are not normally disclosed.
Each Electoral Registration Officer maintains a register for their own local area, including the number of overseas electors registered in their area. Information is not collated or held centrally on voting by electors. The Government does not hold data on UK citizens resident overseas who are registered to vote, who have successfully applied for absent voting, or who voted in the 2019 UK Parliamentary General Election.
Since 2013/14, the Government has provided more than £27 million to promote electoral registration and democratic engagement more widely, including among young people. For the 2019 General Election, of the 3.5 million people who registered to vote online between the day the poll was announced and the registration deadline, 66.1% were aged between 18 and 34.
The Cabinet Office is working closely with the Electoral Commission, Association of Electoral Administrators and Society of Local Government Chief Executives to support local authorities to deliver their duties in line with the Government’s guidance on Coronavirus. This includes working with the Electoral Commission on guidance for the 2020 canvass, which is now published on their website.
The planning and running of polls is the responsibility of Returning Officers, who are statutorily independent of local or national government. The Government does not collect data on those turned away from polls.