Big increase in number of local authorities seeing drop in electoral roll registration for 2018

New Equifax analysis reveals 197 Local Authorities saw a drop in registrations - credit information provider warns of potential impact on access to credit

It may be too late to register to vote in next month’s London and local elections (3rd May), but that’s not the only reason that British citizens should be on the electoral roll. Credit information provider Equifax is urging consumers to ensure their details are up to date on the electoral roll for their current address, as its analysis of electoral roll registrations for 20181 reveals that nearly 200 local authorities saw a drop in registrations compared to 2017.

According to new analysis from Equifax, 197 authorities saw their electoral roll registration drop year on year. Last year just 29 local authorities saw a drop in registrations.

"Could it be that voter lethargy set in when people were registering to vote for this year", said Lisa Hardstaff, credit information expert at Equifax. "Perhaps numbers were higher when the EU Referendum took place in 2016 and for the General Election last year.

"However, whilst being able to vote is the primary purpose for being on the electoral register, it can also affect so much more of day to day life – from buying a house to signing up for a mobile phone. The electoral roll is used by many companies for identity verification purposes, in order to combat fraud."

Top of the list of authorities that recorded the highest drop in voters is Merthyr Tydfil, with a 19.6% decrease, followed by Newcastle Upon Tyne, which saw a 6.7% fall in registrations. And proving that there was no particular North/South divide, East Dorset, Mole Valley, Runnymede and Ealing and Camden also came in the top ten.

Nottingham topped the list of authorities that saw the greatest upturn in registrations, with a 7.2% increase year on year, followed by Carlisle at 6.7% and Barnet at 6.1%.

Top Ten Authorities with increase in Electoral Roll registration for 2018
Nottingham 107.2%
Carlisle 106.7%
Barnet 106.1%
Croydon 106.0%
Lancaster 105.8%
Gloucester 104.6%
Redbridge 104.1%
Mid Devon 103.8%
Kensington and Chelsea 103.5%
South Derbyshire 103.5%
Top Ten Authorities with decrease in Electoral Roll registration for 2018
Merthyr Tydfil 80.4%
Newcastle Upon Tyne 93.3%
Hyndburn 93.7%
South Gloucestershire 93.8%
Cherwell 94.5%
East Dorset 95.1%
Mole Valley 95.1%
Runnymede 95.8%
Ealing 95.9%
Camden 96.0%

"Consumers can register on the electoral roll at their current address by contacting their local authority", concluded Lisa Hardstaff. "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."

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, Scotland 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 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’s worth taking this into account if you’re planning  future credit applications.


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:

1Annual Electoral Registration for 2018 published by local authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and Scotland.

About Equifax

Equifax Inc. (Equifax) is a global information solutions company that uses unique data, innovative analytics, technology and industry expertise to power organizations and individuals around the world by transforming knowledge into insights that help make more informed business and personal decisions.

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 10,100 employees worldwide.

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

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