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 1 December 2017 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 1 December 2017 to 30 November 2018. The next scheduled elections will be the Westminster City Council local elections on the 3 May 2018.

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 (HEF). 

Please respond to the HEF we have sent you, or you may face a fine of £1,000.

How to respond

You can also respond to the Household Enquiry Form using one of the four options below:

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

Internet –Click on the 'respond online' button below and enter part 1 and part 2 of your security code

Respond online

Freephone - If there are no changes call 0808 284 1426 and when prompted enter part 1 and part 2 of your security code.

Text Message (SMS) – If there are no changes text 07786209426 with your 2 security codes separated by a space.

*The two part security code can be found on your Household Enquiry Form.

If you are responding by internet, freephone or text message you will NOT need to return the Household Enquiry Form.

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

Once you have completed the HEF you will also 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

For further information or if you have any questions about your form, please 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

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. 16 and 17 year olds 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 your 18th birthday.


3. Canvass timetable

Stage 1 – A Household Enquiry Form will be posted to every residential property on 2 August 2017.

Stage 2 – A reminder Household Enquiry Form will be posted to all non-responding properties on 6 September 2017.

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 2017.

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 any person falls into one of the following special categories - person living overseas; crown servant or diplomat and his/her dependants; remand prisoner; homeless person; or voluntary patient in a mental health hospital, then visit the Your Vote Matters website for further information and to find out how to register.

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, please 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: 16 August 2017
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