Belfast Telegraph

Voter numbers in NI jump faster than rest of the UK

By Suzanne Breen

The number of people on the Westminster electoral roll in Northern Ireland rose dramatically last year, representing a greater increase than any other part of the UK.

Figures released yesterday by the Office for National Statistics showed there were more than 1.2m people registered to vote in parliamentary elections here.

The 3% rise in Westminster electors here compared to a rise of just 0.8% in England and Wales and 0.5% in Scotland.

West Belfast was in the top 10 constituencies in the UK registering the greatest percentage increases.

The parliamentary electorate in West Belfast rose by almost 7% to over 62,400. Almost 4,000 new voters joined the register in the constituency last year.

Northern Ireland also witnessed the biggest increase of voters on the local government electoral roll. The number of people registered to vote in council elections here rose by 3.2% last year compared to an increase of 1.2% in England, 0.9% in Wales and 0.8% in Scotland.

The highest rise here was in Derry City and Strabane council area where the number of people on the electoral roll climbed by 4.5%.

Commenting on the UK-wide figures, Neil Park from the Office for National Statistics said: "In the year to December 2017, the number of people registered to vote in parliamentary elections across the UK increased by around 400,000.

"This follows an increase of around 1m the previous year. The number of registered Parliamentary electors currently stands at its highest level since 2012."

Belfast Telegraph

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