Young, Well-Educated Professionals Failing To Register To Vote

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Young, well-educated professionals are the group most likely to fail to register to vote, according to new analysis of the electoral roll released today.

Also likely to miss out on their chance to vote are single people and groups of young adults sharing rented flats, said information services company Experian.

At the other end of the spectrum were traditional working class families and couples, who are more likely to put their names on the register than any other group.

In analysing electoral roll data from 460 local authorities across the UK, Experian divided the electorate into different groups depending on how likely they were to register to vote.

Last year saw an increase of 0.77% in the numbers on the electoral roll, with a total of 46.8 million voters registered.

People classed in the Industrial Heritage group, who come from small-c conservative working-class families with below-average incomes, living in settled communities, were most likely to register.

They were followed by the Claimant Culture group, which included some of the most disadvantaged families in the UK, reliant on benefits and living in low-rise council housing.

Most often absent from the edited electoral roll were the Liberal Opinions group, whose members are usually between 18-25, professional, educated and cosmopolitan in their tastes, enjoying the vibrancy and diversity of inner-city living and unlikely to be settled in their current home for long.

After them, the group least likely to register were those classed as Upper Floor Living, single people and groups of adults on limited incomes and renting flats from local councils or housing associations, rather than living as a couple or family.

Analysis of the registers showed that 70 local authorities witnesses a fall in registrations last year - with Tower Hamlets in east London experiencing the sharpest drop of 6.06% from 171,896 in 2011 to 161,478 in 2012,
followed by Durham (down 5.85%), East Lindsey in Lincolnshire (3.4%) and Cambridge (2.64%).

Three Rivers in Hertfordshire in the East of England witnessed the biggest surge in voter registrations - a rise of 4.04% from 65,534 in 2011 to 68,182 in 2012, followed by Clackmannanshire (up 3.92%), West Lothian (3.83%) and Thanet in Kent (3.75%).

Jonathan Westley, managing director of Experian's consumer information services business in the UK, said: "Certain locations and sectors of the population still need to be encouraged to register on the electoral roll in this country. It is critical in getting people engaged not just in politics, but also in society as it can open the door to many other services.

"Having a presence on the electoral register could impact positively on an individual's access to credit and many other services from both the public and private sectors.

"As this information is also used for other purposes, it plays a vital role in helping lenders and service providers in the public and private sectors verify the identity and residence of an applicant and to, therefore, make an informed and responsible decision."