#ELLGetRegistered: Methodology for exploring the importance of the youth vote in the 2015 general election

This week’s digital features encouraging young people in the ELL boroughs to register to vote were based on several different data sets.

Our features primarily used data and information from the Electoral Commission which recorded “registration completeness” within different age groups, demographics and housing tenures.

“Completeness” is defined as being when “every person who is entitled to an entry into the electoral register is registered”. The completeness of the electoral register referred to the percentage of eligible people who were registered at their current address. The proportion of eligible people who are not included on the register at their current address constituted the rate of non-registration.

This registration data was complemented with census data from the Greater London Authority which allowed us to compare registration completeness with the proportion of 18-24 year olds, the number of students, the number of people in privately rented accommodation and the number of large occupied households and voter turnout in each borough.

Research from the Hansard Society, You Gov and Ipso MORI also informed our project. This research was conducted through surveys and opinion polls, allowing us to look at the concerns and mind-sets of specific age groups.

Our maps showing the lowest majority seats in the UK were created using data from Rallings and Thrasher’s Election 2010 the Official Results, which calculated the country’s most marginal seats. For these purposes “marginal” was defined as seats with majorities of 10% or less and that require a swing of 5% for the incumbent party to lose. There are currently 194 such marginal seats in Britain, but for the purposes of our study we chose to focus upon the 30 most marginal, all of which have a majority of under 1.5% and need to swing of less than 1% in order to change political hands.

Please note that:

  • The registration data taken from these reports was compiled before the creation of the Individual Electoral Registration system, although we did take this year’s change in the registration process into account in our work.
  • We attempted to use the most accurate data possible by ensuring the data and reports used were from reliable sources and from large data sets.

#ELLGetRegistered started off the week by examining the impact young voters could have on the General Election, we then explained the process of voter registration, helped people decide who to vote for with our interative quiz, showed students where their vote could have the most power and explored the initiatives taking place locally and nationally to get young people voting.

Our video series showcased candidates from each party in the ELL boroughs including Labour’s MP Rushanara Ali for Bethnal Green and Bow, Conservative’s Chris Wilford for Poplar and Limehouse, Liberal Democrat’s Alex Feakes for Lewisham West & Penge, the Green Party’s Charlotte George for Hackney South & Shoreditch, and UKIP’s Peter Staveley for Croydon Central telling young people why they should vote for them at this election.

By Alex Sims, Olivia Blair, Jack D’Arcy and Muna Fadhil 

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