§ Mr. Roderick
asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement about the assessment of the number of persons entitled to vote in the devolution referendum.
ELECTORAL REGISTER, FEBRUARY 1979, WALES ADVANCE FIGURES County Total electorate, including service voters, merchant seamen, peers, "Y" voters "Y" voters (aged under 18) who will attain voting age on 2 March 1979 or later Number of electors of voting age on 1 March Clwyd … … … 288,608 3,969 284,639 Dyfed … … … 250,571 3,140 247,431 Gwent … … … 324,044 4,657 19,387 Gwynedd … … … 173,118 2,067 171,051 Mid-Glamorgan … … … 399,332 5,068 394,264 Powys … … … 81,823 1,006 80,817 South Glamorgan … … … 286,908 4,001 282,907 West Glamorgan … … … 279,393 3,540 275,853 Wales … … … 2,083,797 27,448 2,056,349
In relation to entitlement to vote on 1 March, further deductions fall to be made for those whose names appear on the registers but who are dead, for those who are registered for more than one address and for those who are legally debarred from voting. On the basis of the information which I have obtained and which has been brought to my attention, the provisional estimate of the further deduction which needs to be made in order to determine the number entitled to vote for the purposes of section 80(2) of the Wales Act is:
Deaths 14,900 Convicted prisoners in prison 800 Students and nurses who are registered at more than one address 2,600
I would emphasise that I have no power to take account of probability of voting or physical capacity to register a vote, but only of entitlement to vote. The number of voters on the new registers but under the age of 18 on March 1 has been counted by the electoral registration officers.
Deaths have been estimated by the Registrar General on the basis of extensive records. The deduction for convicted prisoners has been similarly assessed on the basis of records held by the Home Department. Deductions for students and nurses have been based on a96W
§ Mr. John Morris
From advance returns provided by the electoral registration officers, I estimate the total electorate by county area on the new registers which came into operation on 16 February and the number of electors of voting age on 1 March 1979 to be as follows:
carefully constructed sample survey. It may be that there are other duplications in the registers, but no authoritative estimate of these is available.
I therefore estimate the total number entitled to vote on 1 March as 2,038,049.