Annual canvass

The Electoral Services Team aims to ensure that every Westminster resident who is eligible to vote is shown on the register of electors.

Every year by law, the Electoral Registration Officer has to prepare and publish a new register of electors. We contact every property to find out any changes since the last register, and remove details of people who have moved out and add details of new occupants. You must respond, even if your details haven’t changed.

The next register of electors will be published on 3 December 2018 and will form the basis for voting at all elections and referendums held within the year that the register of electors remains in force - that is between 3 December 2018 to 30 November 2019. There are currently no scheduled elections taking place in 2019.

1. Responding to the annual canvass

We are currently writing to all households in Westminster to ensure the electoral register is up to date. 

Every household is legally required to complete a household enquiry form. 

If you do not respond to the household enquiry form, you may face a fine of £1,000.

How to respond

You can also respond to the household enquiry form using one of the options below:

Respond online

Return the completed and signed form in the pre-paid envelope provided.

Call 0808 284 1426 and when prompted enter part 1 and part 2 of your security code.

Text 07786209426 with your 2 security codes separated by a space.

The 2 part security code can be found on your household enquiry form.

If you are responding online, by freephone or text message, you will not need to return the household enquiry form by post.

If you have not received a form, call electoral services on 020 7641 7500 or email

You will need to register to vote at GOV.UK if you are not already registered.

Door knockers

After we have written to everyone, our door knockers will visit people who haven’t responded. This will be from the end of September onwards.

Contact us

To find out more, contact electoral services.

2. Eligibility to register

In order to register in Westminster you must:

  • be a British, Irish or Commonwealth citizen or a citizen of another European Union member country
  • live in Westminster

View a full list of eligible countries

All applicants must state their nationality or could face a delay in being added to the register.

You must be 18 or older to vote. Young people aged 16 and 17 can appear on the register which will show your name and the date you become eligible to vote. You can then vote in any election on or after you turn 18.


3. Canvass timetable

Stage 1 – a household enquiry form will be posted to every residential property on 1 August 2018.

Stage 2 – a reminder household enquiry form will be posted to all non-responding properties on 28 August 2018.

Stage 3 – door to door enquiries to all non-responding properties by Westminster canvassers will take place between the end of September to mid November 2018.

4. The forms

A household enquiry form (HEF) is not a registration form; it only captures information about people living in a household. Every household must complete it, even if no one is eligible to vote.

An invitation to register form (ITR) is the registration form sent to all new eligible-to-vote residents whose details are shown on the completed HEF. The ITR needs to be completed for a person to be added to the register of electors.

5. Other types of registration

If you fall into one of the following special categories, visit the Your Vote Matters website for further information and to find out how to register:

  • person living overseas
  • crown servant or diplomat and their dependants
  • remand prisoner
  • homeless person
  • voluntary patient in a mental health hospital

Anonymous registration

You can apply to be registered anonymously if you believe that being on the register of electors could mean that your safety would be at risk.

If you believe this to be the case, contact electoral services to find out more and to be advised on what you should do next.

6. Reasons to register

There are many reasons to register including:

  • to participate in elections and referendums and therefore influence those who make the decisions that affect you on a daily basis
  • it may be harder to obtain credit, mortgages, loans and so on if you don’t register - the electoral register is one piece of evidence used by the financial services industry when authorising applications
  • a quick response from you saves you and the council money, as the council won't have to pay canvassers to call at your property
  • refusing to provide the relevant information may lead to a fine - providing false information is an offense

Last updated: 1 August 2018
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