Statistics on people registered to vote in parliamentary and local government elections as recorded in the electoral registers as at 2021.
For Wales (and for England), electoral statistics are taken from data supplied to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) by local Electoral Registration Officers.
Electoral statistics are annual counts of the number of people who are registered on electoral registers, and so entitled to vote. The total number of electors consists of residential qualifiers and attainers. Attainers are people who reach voting age during the year up to the next register (December 2022).
The ONS has noted that these statistics do not reflect the changes to eligibility criteria for Senedd and local government elections in Wales since 2020 (see ‘Notes’ for further information about the recent changes in eligibility criteria). Consequently, local government electoral registrations for 16 year olds and 15 year old attainers, in Wales, are missing from these statistics. This also affected December 2020 electoral roll statistics that were published in May 2021. We are working with the ONS to publish corrected statistics. See the ONS website for more information.
- The total number of Senedd Cymru and local government electors registered to vote as at December 2021 in Wales is 2,348,600
- This is an increase of 0.3% between 1 December 2020 and 1 December 2021, although a decrease of 0.4% from the peak on 2 March 2020
- The total number of UK Parliamentary electors registered to vote as at 1 December 2021 in Wales is 2,307,900
- This is an increase of 0.1% between 1 December 2020 and 1 December 2021, although a decrease of 0.6% from the peak on 2 March 2020
- The total number of UK Parliamentary electors registered to vote in the UK as a whole fell by 0.7% between 1 December 2020 and 1 December 2021
Electoral rolls provide counts of the number of people registered to vote. It should be noted that the number of people eligible to vote is not the same as the resident population. There are various reasons for this. For example, not everyone who is usually resident is entitled to vote (foreign citizens from outside of the European Union and Commonwealth, prisoners, etc. are not eligible), some people do not register to vote, and people who have more than one address may register in more than one place. Further, there is inevitably some double counting of the registered electorate as electoral registration officers vary in how quickly they remove people from the registers after they have moved away from an area or after they have died. These factors have a differential impact from area to area. This means care needs to be exercised when comparing population estimates with the electoral roll.
The difference in who is entitled to vote at UK Parliamentary and Senedd Cymru and local government elections depends largely on age, residence and citizenship conditions. Local government electors, for example, include those European Union citizens resident in the UK who are not entitled to vote in UK Parliamentary elections, while UK Parliamentary electors include British citizens resident overseas who are not entitled to vote in local government elections.
The Senedd and Election (Wales) Act 2020 made provisions to lower the voting age in Senedd elections to 16, meaning that 16 and 17 year olds were able to vote for the first time at the Senedd elections in 2021.
The Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021 made provisions to lower the voting age for local government elections to allow 16 and 17 year olds to vote. The next scheduled local council elections in Wales are in May 2022.
The data for Wales for December 2020 and December 2021, excludes local government electoral registrations for attainers aged 15 years and electors aged 16 years. For December 2021, this means that the number of local government electoral registrations is probably around 20,000 to 50,000 too low (around 1 to 2% of the total).
Eligibility to vote in UK Parliamentary elections has not changed, with the minimum voting age being 18 years old.
Further information on who can vote in different UK elections can be found on the GOV.UK website.
The Parliamentary Constituencies and Assembly Regions (Wales) (Amendment) Order 2011 made changes to the then National Assembly for Wales constituency boundaries and electoral regions as a result of local government boundary changes in six local authority areas. The Order did not make the same changes to the boundaries of the UK Parliamentary constituencies. The Order came into effect on 14 December 2011 therefore from this point onwards there are some differences between the UK Parliamentary constituencies and the Senedd Cymru Constituencies.
As agreed with the Office for Statistics Regulation, these statistics will be updated at 12.30pm on the day of release by ONS. StatsWales tables will follow in due course.
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