More UK citizens on the electoral register for 2017

New Equifax data reveals 1.8% increase in UK citizens registering for 2017 as credit information provider highlights importance of registration for more than just being able to vote

For a British citizen to have a say in the outcome of the snap General Election next month, they must be on the electoral register for their local authority.

Being able to vote is the primary purpose for being on the electoral register, but it can also affect so much more of day to day life – from buying a house to signing up for a mobile phone.

The good news is that data from credit information provider, Equifax, suggests that more British citizens have registered to vote in 2017, compared to the previous year.

2% less adults registered to vote in the 2014 annual Electoral Roll registration – ahead of the General Election in 2015 - compared to the previous year. However, the 2016 annual Electoral Roll registration has seen a 1.8% increase in UK citizens registering to vote.

The 2016 Electoral Roll registration will form the basis for next month’s General Election – but anyone who has not yet registered to vote or who has recently moved can still get on their local Electoral Register. The deadline is 22nd May 2017.

"In 2014 the process for electoral roll registration changed. Instead of one member of the household being able to register every adult at their address, each individual had to register themselves", explained Lisa Hardstaff, Equifax credit information expert. "This had an impact on registrations, with the 2015 register seeing a like-for-like decrease in elector volumes of 950,000 and 600,000 for the 2016 register.

"The good news is it appears the tide has turned for 2017, with an increase of 835,701 people registered to vote. This suggests a greater level of political engagement in the last twelve months, perhaps prompted by last year’s European Union Referendum."

Top of the list of authorities that have recorded the highest increase in voters is Colchester, Essex, which saw an 8.54% uplift, closely followed by Tower Hamlets at 8.09%. A total of 336 authorities saw an increase in voters in the 2016 Electoral Roll registration.

Just 29 authorities saw a year-on-year drop. Southampton saw the most significant decline, with just 65.74% of people in the authority registering to vote compared to the previous year.

Top Ten Authorities with increase in Electoral Roll registration for 2017

Colchester 8.54% Tower Hamlets 8.09%
Cheshire East 7.49% Lancaster 6.74%
Reading 6.37% Wellingborough 6.21%
Forest Heath 5.94% North Dorset 5.91%
Taunton Deane 5.87% Redbridge 5.82%

Top Ten Authorities with decrease in Electoral Roll registration for 2017 Percentage of registrations compared to 2015

Glasgow 98.32% Sunderland 98.29%
Stoke-On-Trent 98.13% York 97.60%
Cheltenham 97.37% Northern Ireland 97.07%
Manchester 95.89% North Tyneside 96.68%
Dumfries And Galloway 92.12% Southampton 65.74%

"Being able to vote on 8th June 2017 is the right for all British citizens and those eligible under UK law," continued Lisa Hardstaff. "In addition to that, it’s also important to be on the electoral register if you’re planning to apply for credit or a new service or utility contract, such as a mobile phone contract.

"The electoral roll is used by many companies for identity verification purposes, in order to combat fraud. Consumers can register on the electoral roll at their current address by contacting their local authority. It’s an important first step towards giving them the best chance of getting the credit they need – and, of course, being able to vote on 8th June this year."

There is still time for UK adults who will be 18 or over on polling day to register to vote ahead of the General Election. Anyone can check if they’re registered to vote by contacting their local Electoral Registration Officer - details can be found on Residents of England, Wales and Scotland who are not on the electoral roll can visit by 22nd May 2017 to register. Northern Ireland residents should visit the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland website by the same date.

What is Electoral Roll data?

Electoral roll information shows on your credit report if you are registered to vote at your current address In England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The electoral register is usually published by each local authority early December each year and is added to credit reports early in the following year.

How is it used?

Electoral roll data is used by lenders to help verify a customer’s identity. If an individual is registered to vote, it will appear on their credit report as a ‘good’ risk signal. If you’re moving home it’s important to register your new address with the relevant local authority. It can take up to six weeks for electoral roll changes to appear on a credit report – it is worth taking this into account if you’re planning future credit applications.

The Equifax Credit Report, which is free for the first 30 days, can be accessed simply by logging onto If customers do not cancel before the end of the 30-day free trial, the service will continue at £9.95 per month, giving them unlimited online access to their credit information and weekly alerts on any changes to their credit file. The service also includes an online dispute facility to help them correct any errors on their credit file simply and quickly.


*Annual Electoral Registration for 2017 published by local authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and Scotland - December 2016.

For further press information, please contact: Clare Watson, Cecile Stearn, Parm Heer or Wendy Harrison at HSL on 020 8977 9132 / Fax: 020 8977 5200 or Email:

About Equifax

Equifax, Inc. ("Equifax") powers the financial future of individuals and organizations around the world. Using the combined strength of unique trusted data, technology and innovative analytics, Equifax has grown from a consumer credit company into a leading provider of insights and knowledge that helps its customers make informed decisions. The company organizes, assimilates and analyses data on more than 800 million consumers and more than 88 million businesses worldwide, and its databases include employee data contributed from more than 5,000 employers.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., Equifax operates or has investments in 24 countries in North America, Central and South America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region. It is a member of Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500® Index, and its common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol EFX. Equifax employs approximately 9,200 employees worldwide.

Some noteworthy achievements for the company include: Ranked 13 on the American Banker FinTech Forward list (2015); named a Top Technology Provider on the FinTech 100 list (2004-2015); named an InformationWeek Elite 100 Winner (2014-2015); named a Top Workplace by Atlanta Journal Constitution (2013-2015); named one of Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies (2011-2015); named one of Forbes’ World’s 100 Most Innovative Companies (2015). For more information, visit

Equifax Limited is one of the Equifax group companies based in the UK.

Equifax Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.