Skip to main content

Statistics on people registered to vote in parliamentary and local government elections as recorded in the electoral registers as at 2020.

For Wales (and for England), electoral statistics are taken from data supplied to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) by local Electoral Registration Officers.

Electoral statistics are annual counts of the number of people who are registered on electoral registers, and so entitled to vote.

The Senedd and Election (Wales) Act 2020 made provisions to lower the voting age in Senedd Elections to 16, meaning that 16 and 17 year olds were able to vote for the first time at the Senedd Elections in 2021.

The Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021 made provisions to lower the voting age for local government elections to allow 16 and 17 year olds to vote. The next scheduled local council elections in Wales are in May 2022.

The number of Senedd Cymru and local government electors as at 1 December 2020 therefore includes 16 and 17 year olds registered to vote, for the first time. Data for previous years do not include 16 and 17 year olds.

Eligibility to vote in UK Parliamentary elections has not changed, with the minimum voting age being 18 years old.

Main points

  • The total number of Senedd Cymru and local government electors registered to vote as at December 2020 in Wales is 2,342,500.
  • This is a decrease of 0.7% between 2 March 2020 and 1 December 2020 (despite now including 16 and 17 year olds registered to vote).
  • The number in March 2020 was the highest number ever recorded, showing the full uplift from the December 2019 General Election.
  • Between 1 December 2019 and 1 December 2020 there was a smaller decrease of 0.3%.
  • The total number of UK Parliamentary electors registered to vote as at December 2020 in Wales is 2,304,600.
  • This is a decrease of 0.8% between 2 March 2020 and 1 December 2020.
  • Between 1 December 2019 and 1 December 2020 there was a smaller decrease of 0.4%.
  • The total number of UK Parliamentary electoral registrations fell by around 652,100 (1.4%) between March 2020 and December 2020.

Until 14 December 2011, UK Parliamentary constituency boundaries were the same as those for Senedd constituencies. However, The Parliamentary Constituencies and Assembly Regions (Wales) (Amendment) Order 2011 made changes to the Senedd (then National Assembly for Wales) constituency and electoral regions boundaries so that the two are now different (see notes below).

Notes

Electoral rolls provide counts of the number of people registered to vote. It should be noted that the number of people eligible to vote is not the same as the resident population. There are various reasons for this. For example, not everyone who is usually resident is entitled to vote (foreign citizens from outside of the European Union and Commonwealth, prisoners, etc. are not eligible), some people do not register to vote, and people who have more than one address may register in more than one place. Further, there is inevitably some double counting of the registered electorate as electoral registration officers vary in how quickly they remove people from the registers after they have moved away from an area or after they have died. These factors have a differential impact from area to area. This means care needs to be exercised when comparing population estimates with the electoral roll.

The difference in who is entitled to vote at UK Parliamentary and Senedd Cymru and local government elections depends largely on age, residence and citizenship conditions. Local government electors, for example, include those European Union citizens resident in the UK who are not entitled to vote in UK Parliamentary elections, while UK Parliamentary electors include British citizens resident overseas who are not entitled to vote in local government elections.

The Senedd and Election (Wales) Act 2020 made provisions to lower the voting age in Senedd Elections to 16, meaning that 16 and 17 year olds were able to vote for the first time at the Senedd Elections in 2021.

The Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021 made provisions to lower the voting age for local government elections to allow 16 and 17 year olds to vote. The next scheduled local council elections in Wales are in May 2022.

Further information on who can vote in different UK elections can be found on the GOV.UK website.

The Parliamentary Constituencies and Assembly Regions (Wales) (Amendment) Order 2011 made changes to the then National Assembly for Wales constituency boundaries and electoral regions as a result of local government boundary changes in six local authority areas. The Order did not make the same changes to the boundaries of the UK Parliamentary constituencies. The Order came into effect on 14 December 2011 therefore from this point onwards there are some differences between the UK Parliamentary constituencies and the Senedd Cymru Constituencies.

As agreed with the Office for Statistics Regulation, these statistics will be updated at 12.30pm on the day of release by ONS. StatsWales tables will follow in due course.

Reports

Data

Datasets and interactive tools

Contact

Stephanie Harries

Telephone: 0300 025 6186

Media

Telephone: 0300 025 8099