Postal Voting, Overseas and General Statistics

well_chuffed, Going Postal
Victorian post box, Matt Brown CC Licence

After the description of how Postal Voting works and by implication, how much it must cost, it seemed worth while looking at the number of overseas postal voters. These should mainly be people who have moved abroad in the last 15 years or so who are still allowed to vote, well, it seemed so obvious. Reputedly, certain areas use more Overseas Votes than others.

The following statistics have been extracted from the Electoral Commission’s breakdown of the 2016 Referendum voting.

EU referendum results

Firstly looking at the percentage of Overseas to Total Postal Votes. In percentage terms Oxford is first with %15.45 of its postal votes being sent abroad and Cambridge is fourth with %13.48, maybe it’s a student thing. Camden and Westminster provide the meat and mayo in the sandwich of the top four with %15.04 and %13.74 respectively. There seems to be no total of how many Overseas Postal Votes were returned, just how many were issued.

Tower Hamlets would figure highly in anyone’s guess of where lots of Overseas Postal Votes might be found. With an electorate of 167,820 and 108,420 actually voted, 31,482 Postal Vote packs were issued of which 22,940 were included in the count. Overseas Postal Votes were 3,076 which is %9.77 of the Postal Votes that were issued.

In terms of sheer volume nobody will be surprised to learn that London figured highly in the Postal Votes stakes.

Where Electorate Voted PostalVotes PostalReceived Overseas
Wandsworth 219,521 158,018 47,760 40,169 6,012
Barnet 223,467 161,218 48,319 41,229 5,038
Lambeth 210,800 142,162 33,370 28,031 4,306
Leeds 543,033 387,677 113,169 96,963 4,209
City of Edinburgh 346,073 252,481 80,034 69,709 4,160
Camden 145,425 95,281 26,757 20,255 4,024
Cornwall 419,755 323,442 81,949 73,514 4,004
Rich. upon Thames 132,632 108,876 29,533 29,328 3,806
Bristol, City of 312,465 228,646 59,571 53,008 3,764

The table above is the top 9 areas with the highest number of Postal Votes.

As far as the UK as a whole is concerned we have the following statistics

Electorate 46,500,001
Votes Cast 33,577,342
Postal Votes Issued 8,535,750
Postal Votes Cast 7,475,912
Overseas Votes Requested 335,379

The areas with to highest numbers of postal votes are

Area Electorate VotesCast PostalVotes PostalReceived Overseas
Leeds 543,033 387,677 113,169 96,963 4,209
Sunderland 207,221 134,400 90,737 75,007 574
County Durham 389,507 267,546 87,048 74,761 1,556
Sheffield 396,406 266,951 86,281 74,825 2,301
Cornwall 419,755 323,442 81,949 73,514 4,004
City of Edinburgh 346,073 252,481 80,034 69,709 4,160
Birmingham 707,293 451,316 77,561 64,625 2,323
Newc. upon Tyne 190,735 129,072 75,927 65,944 1,117
Wiltshire 366,555 289,102 75,120 66,531 3,107

Postal votes seem to be extremely popular in some areas, nearly 25% of votes in Leeds are postal. In Newcastle and Sunderland it’s closer to 50%. Remember there are 8 and a half million Postal Vote packs that are posted or delivered to the electorate. Over 1 million of those are not used to vote.
 

© well_chuffed 2019
 

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