Electoral registration, population mobility and the democratic franchise: the geography of postal voters, overseas voters and missing voters in Great Britain

C. J. Pattie, D. F L Dorling, R. J. Johnston, D. J. Rossiter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A core concern of population geography is with the size, location and movement of groups of people. Most census analysis concentrates on various types of 'residents' of an area; many studies concentrate on 'households' while the population subgroups receiving considerable attention include children, the elderly, refugees, and ethnic minorities. The size, location and movement of one (very large and significant) group has received little attention - voters. In Great Britain, the geography of registered voters largely mirrors that of the adult population, but with three exceptions: firstly, electors can use a postal vote to cast a ballot in a place where they are not currently resident; secondly, some British nationals living overseas can register as electors and vote by proxy; and thirdly, many who are eligible to register as voters do not do so. This paper uncovers the geographies of these three groups and evaluates their implications for the operation of the democratic franchise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-259
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Population Geography
Volume2
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1996

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