Frequently Asked Questions - Electorate
These Frequently Asked Questions provide information about us and our work. If you cannot find the answer you are looking for in the sections above, contact us using the details at the bottom left of each page.
Which people do you consider when you're looking at numbers?
The law requires us to use the number of "local government electors". In order to be a local government elector, you have to be over 16, and to be included on the Register of Electors for your area. Find out how to check whether you're registered to vote, and how to register to vote at the About My Vote website at http://www.aboutmyvote.co.uk/.
What's the difference between local government electorate and parliamentary electorate?
United Kingdom citizens of voting age who are resident in the United Kingdom are entitled to register to vote in all elections. EU citizens who are resident in the United Kingdom can register as local government electors. Commonwealth and Irish Republic citizens who are resident in the United Kingdom, and United Kingdom citizens living abroad, can register as parliamentary electors. We use the local government electorate for all of our reviews.
Do numbers of people matter when you're recommending Scottish Parliament constituencies?
Yes. The law specifies that each constituency must have the same number of electors "as is practicable" while also taking account of the other rules for constituency design. Because of this, when we carry out a review, we look closely at the number of electors in each area.
Can you tell me the current number of electors in a ward?
We do not publish current electorate figures for wards. These can be obtained from the relevant page of the National Records of Scotland (formerly the General Register Office for Scotland) website: www.nrscotland.gov.uk.
What about changes to the electorate in the future?
We consider likely changes to electorate over the following 5 years when we conduct a review. To do this, we use information from the local authority on expected new-build and demolitions of dwellings over the period, together with population projections from the National Records of Scotland (formerly the General Register Office for Scotland). There's more detail about how we do this in our Information Paper entitled Electoral Reviews: Guidance which is available on the Publications page.
Do numbers of people matter when you're recommending wards?
Yes. The law specifies that each ward should have "as nearly as may be" the same number of electors per councillor as every other ward in a council area. We refer to this as electoral parity. As a result, when we carry out a review, we look closely at the number of electors in each area.