"Our communication campaigns are based on census statistics"

To vote in an election in the UK it is necessary to be included on an electoral register but levels of voter registration vary considerably among population groups. For instance, younger adults, people from minority ethnic groups and home renters are far more likely to be under-registered. This is an important area of work for the Electoral Commission and it runs regular national voter registration campaigns which target these under-registered groups. Our planning for the major public awareness campaigns we’ve got coming up, including the European Parliament Elections next year and the UK General Election in 2015, are being informed by census statistics.

As our population continues to change over time, census statistics remain an invaluable source of information, and help the Electoral Commission to get a better understanding of the changing population both at national and local level. The latest 2011 Census statistics showed an increasingly diverse society and with this information the Electoral Commission can identify under-registered groups to target in public awareness campaigns.

The evidence from the census underpins the overall development of strategy and even media buying as different groups have different media preferences. Furthermore, knowing more about the under-registered groups, the Electoral Commission can decide on the right engagement with the relevant stakeholders groups.

At a more local level, all Electoral Registration Officers (EROs) are encouraged to use local census data to target under-registered groups in their area when pulling together local public engagement plans. The 2011 Census statistics give EROs the most up-to-date picture of their local population.

About the Electoral Commission

The Electoral Commission is an independent body set up by the UK Parliament. It regulates party and election finance and sets standards for well-run elections. The Electoral Commission works to support a healthy democracy, where elections and referendums are based on principles of trust, participation, and no undue influence.