National Records of Scotland

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Scottish Electorate numbers are rising

Scottish Electorate numbers are rising

Thursday, 16 Mar 2017
Demography news release image

The number of people registered to vote in elections in Scotland has increased in 2016, according to the latest National Statistics published today by National Records of Scotland. This increase follows the drop in numbers seen in 2015 due to the introduction of Individual Electoral Registration (IER).

The increase is seen across the electorates for Local Government and Scottish Parliament, the UK Parliament as well as the European Parliament.

As at 1 December 2016:

  • The number of UK Parliamentary electors in Scotland rose by 33,100 (0.8 per cent) to 3.9 million, compared to December 2015.
  • The number of registered Local Government and Scottish Parliament electors in Scotland rose by 59,500 (1.5 per cent) to 4.1 million.
  • There has been an increase in the number of overseas electors which doubled to 15,200 (up 97 per cent). This increase could be attributed to an increased number of people registering to vote in the EU Referendum in June 2016.
  • The number of 16 and 17 year old electors has also increased by 62.6 per cent to 79,600 since last year. Due to the timing of the legislation change and the timing of the canvass, lowering of the voting age change had limited effect on electorate numbers in 2015. However, as expected, an increase in electorate numbers is more evident in 2016. 

The next Local Government election in Scotland will take place on 4 May 2017. The deadline for registration to vote in the Local Government election is Monday 17 April 2017.

The full publication Electoral Statistics for Scotland, as at 1 December 2016 is available on this website.