Scotland politics

Drop in number of registered voters

Registered adult voters have fallen by nearly 2% since September

The number of registered voters in Scotland has fallen by more than 145,000 from the high point just before the independence referendum.

In March this year there were 4,138,345 people on the electoral register, the Electoral Commission has revealed.

That was a drop of 3.4% - or 145,593 registrations - from the high point of 4,283,938 in September 2014.

The figure was still down by 75,592 when 16 and 17-year-olds were excluded.

Sixteen and 17-year-olds were allowed to vote in the referendum but do not have a ballot in May's general election.

The number of registered voters in Scotland remains higher than it was in March 2013, having increased by 0.4%.

The report said this slight increase compared to a "decrease of approximately 2% in England and Wales, where the December 2014 registers contained approximately 920,000 fewer entries than the registers published in February/March 2014".

'Still time'

The Electoral Commission report said that the position last September "represented a high point against which any subsequent registers were more likely to decrease than increase".

It added: "The lack of comprehensive household canvass activity since the end of the 2013 canvass is likely to be a key reason for this fall."

Electoral Commissioner for Scotland John McCormick said: "The registers published on 2 March are a snapshot of the electorate at that time and work is continuing to get as many people as possible registered in time for the May election.

"There is still time to register before the 20 April deadline and we would urge anyone who is not registered to take action now by going to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. It's easy and only takes a few minutes."

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