National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Electoral Statistics – Scotland 2nd March 2015

Electoral Statistics – Scotland 2nd March 2015

Introduction

This report gives statistics on the 2015 Electoral Register which came into effect on 2 March 2015. Normally, the reference date (for previous publications) is 1st December, but this date was temporarily changed in the light of the work to move to a system of Individual Electoral Registration (further information available on the Electoral Commission website).

The tables provide data on the people who are registered to vote in UK Parliamentary elections (59 constituencies), Scottish Parliamentary elections (73 constituencies and 8 regions), for Local Government elections (32 Council areas and 353 electoral wards), and for the European Parliamentary elections.

The statistics in this publication are used by government to inform electoral policy, in the work of the Boundary Commission for Scotland for constituency design, and by political parties and members of the UK and the Scottish Parliament, local government, academics and members of the public with an interest in the political process.  

Commentary

Table 1 shows that between March 2014 and March 2015:

  • The number of UK Parliamentary electors in Scotland rose by 8,207 (0.2 per cent) to 4,035,394, and continues to rise year on year.
  • The number of registered Local Government and Scottish Parliament electors in Scotland rose by 11,432 (0.3 per cent) to 4,131,926, and also continues to rise year on year.

Figure 1 shows the patterns in Scottish electorates since 2001. The local government and Scottish Parliamentary electorate continue to rise. This increase in numbers has been particularly evident since 2009. It also shows that, since the electorates were at their lowest point in December 2003, Scottish electorates have been rising year on year (with the exception of December 2009). 

Figure 1: Scottish Electorates since 2001

Figure 1 - image

Table 2 shows that on 2nd March 2015, the largest UK Parliamentary constituency in Scotland was Linlithgow and East Falkirk with 85,349 people registered to vote and the smallest was Na h-Eileanan an Iar with 21,766 people. The constituency with the smallest electorate on mainland Scotland is Easter Ross (47,667 electors). This year’s UK Parliamentary Election is due on the 7th May. 

Over the past 10 years, the local government electorate has increased in most Council areas in Scotland (with the exception of Inverclyde with a drop of 1% over the period). The areas where the electorate increased the most are in Grampian and the Lothians – Aberdeen City (+8.6%), Aberdeenshire (+11.3%), City of Edinburgh (10.6%), East Lothian (+11.5%), Midlothian (+11.3%) and West Lothian (+12.4%). Overall the Scottish Parliament and Local government electorate has increased by over 6.4% over the last 10 years (Table 3). The next local government election is due in 2017.

The average number of electors in the 73 Scottish Parliamentary constituencies rose by around 157 between March 2014 and March 2015. The largest and smallest Constituencies were Linlithgow (71,455 electors) and the Orkney Islands (16,956 electors) respectively. The constituency with smallest electorate on mainland Scotland is Renfrewshire South with 48,572  (see Table 4 and Table 5). The next Scottish Parliamentary election is due in 2016.

Table 6 shows the electorates in the 353 wards in Scotland by Council area. The average Electoral Ward in Scotland had 11,705 electors (and 112 attainers), although the numbers vary widely according to the number of councillors representing the ward, and other local considerations. Note also that the number of attainers this year is considerably lower in comparison to the relatively high number of attainers who were registered in advance of the Independence Referendum. The lower number of attainers this year reflects the nine month period to which this Register relates (March 2nd 2015 to November 30th 2015). 

A European Parliamentary election took place on 22nd May 2014 and the next is not due until 2019. As of 2nd March 2015, 4,045,826 people were registered – an increase of 0.3%.  

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