What is your vote worth? Renters could make a difference in these seats

2.4 million private renters could miss out on voting at the General Election if they don't register to vote by midnight tomorrow. 

Private renters move house more frequently than homeowners, and as a result, just 58% are correctly registered, compared with 91% of homeowners, according to figures by the Electoral Commission. Many renters are on contracts of just 12 months, and private renters are six times more likely to move in a given year than homeowners.

We've worked out which Parliamentary seats could be decided by private renters on 12 December - the seats in orange and brown have more unregistered private renters than the number of votes the last MP won by. 

Renter_vote_impact.png

Map created with Flourish

Using census, English Housing Survey and Labour Force Survey data, Generation Rent estimates that there are at least 5.7m eligible voters living in private rented homes. There are around 3.3m registered voters and 2.4m yet to register at their current address.

Applying the calculations to Westminster constituencies, Generation Rent found 96 seats across England (for which housing policy is decided at Westminster) where the estimated number of unregistered private renters is larger than the 2017 majority. This means renters registering today and tomorrow could cast the deciding vote.

Around 8,000 private renters in Kensington are at risk of losing their vote, in a seat held by Labour by just 20 votes. In Southampton, Itchen, an estimated 6,300 private renters are yet to register.

Constituency 

Region

Majority

unregistered private renter voters

Kensington

London

20

8819

Southampton, Itchen

South East

31

6367

Richmond Park

London

45

5117

Crewe and Nantwich

North West

48

4818

Newcastle-Under-Lyme

West Midlands

30

2478

Urgent action is required by the next Government to address the UK’s renting crisis. Private renters typically pay higher rents (around 40% of earnings) only to suffer poor conditions and a lack of security. Renters are typically on 12-month contracts, and one in seven privately rented homes is unsafe. The renter vote could play a decisive role in deciding the outcome of the election. 

And today we've also launched ventyour.rent - a tool that shows you what impact the housing crisis is having near you - alongside our #VentYourRent social media takeover, where we call on renters to share stories of the renting crisis in their area.

In key marginals across the country, renters registering could decide the outcome of the seat. Renters need secure tenancies, affordable rents and decent and safe homes. This election is an opportunity for renters to vote for a Government that will deliver that. If you rent privately, make sure you’re registered by midnight tomorrow.

Our Renter Manifesto partners ACORN are working hard to ensure renters are registered to vote by tomorrow. Nick Ballard, National Organiser at ACORN says:

“If you’re homeless, in insecure housing or in the PRS, you’re less likely to be on the electoral register. If you don't vote, you don't matter to most politicians. Though our Renters Vote campaign ACORN is registering private tenants, the vulnerably housed and homeless and turning them out on election day. Politicians cannot afford to ignore the demands of renters and the next government must ensure decent, dignified and affordable housing for all."

 

The data

Generation Rent analysed data from the Electoral Commission and English Housing Survey to estimate the number of unregistered voters. The 2.4 million figure was calculated based on: 

  • 4.5m households in the private rented sector recorded by the EHS 2017-18
  • An estimated average of 1.7 adults per household, based on household composition (EHS) and
  • 74% of private renters with British or Irish citizenship (Commonwealth citizens are also eligible to vote but this data was not available)

At the constituency level, Generation Rent used the following to estimate the number of unregistered voters:

  • the number of households in the PRS by constituency (Census 2011),
  • regional estimates of the change since 2011 (EHS; 2011 figures have been used for devolved nations)
  • Regional estimates of UK citizenship in the PRS (Labour Force Survey) 

The data for England can be found in full here.

 

Media coverage

Independent

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