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Electoral registers and poll books

Electoral registers and poll books

Electoral registers

Electoral registers are useful in tracing people by a known address - to search for someone by name, use London Directories).

Registers have been published every year since 1832 except in wartime. To be listed, a person must meet certain franchise qualifications.

Most parliamentary electoral registers included electors for local government since the late 19th century, making it possible to find people even if they couldn't vote. Women ratepayers appear as municipal electors from 1869; today, registers include EU citizens.

2 editions have been issued each year since 2003: the full register lists everyone entitled to vote and the edited register lists voters who allowed their details to be made freely available.

Public access to full registers is restricted; contact Electoral Services to view full electoral registers for Westminster. 

Poll books

Although poll books list voters, they differ from electoral registers as they record how each person voted.

Poll books were published in the late 17th century until 1872 when the passing of the Ballot Act resulted in their effective abolition. 

Published: 31 December 2020

Last updated: 4 February 2021