How to look for records of... Electoral registration

This is a brief guide to researching historical electoral registers, which were introduced in 1832 and, with a few exceptions, have been produced annually ever since.

The National Archives does not hold any complete collections of electoral registers. The British Library holds a complete set from 1947 onwards, and older electoral registers are held mostly by local archives.

What do I need to know before I start?

Try to find out:

  • the name of the person
  • their address, including the street in which they lived
  • the property through which they qualified to vote (not always the same as their address)
  • a date range

What records can I see online?

Some electoral registers and poll books are available on commercial websites such as Ancestry £ and findmypast £ and it is likely that more will be added in the near future. To find out what is available look on family history websites or use a search engine such as Google.

What records can I find at The National Archives at Kew?

There are no complete collections of electoral registers at The National Archives.

What records can I find in other archives and organisations?

Local electoral registers

Find contact details for the relevant local archive using Find an archive.

Electoral registers from 1947 onwards

Search the collection of electoral registers at the British Library from 1947 onwards.

Electoral registers in Wales and Scotland

The National Library of Wales and National Library of Scotland hold many sets of electoral registers for their respective regions.

What other resources will help me find information?

Read Parliamentary Constituencies and their Registers since 1832 by Richard H A Cheffins which is available to download from the British Library.