Voter registration rise boosts Labour's election hopes

A sharp rise in voter registration, predominantly among young people, has boosted Labour’s hopes in the general election.

Figures show more than 3 million people have registered since the election was called on 29 October.

More than two-thirds of those applications are from people under 34, who tend to be more favourable towards Labour than the Conservatives.

The Electoral Reform Society said the overall figure for registrations is 38% higher than the 2,315,893 applications to register in a similar period in the 2017 election.

There have been on average 114,000 registrations per day this time around, compared with 68,000 registrations per day in 2017.

It is estimated that around a million of those who registered were just being cautious and will already have been on the register, but that still leaves a large number of new applicants.

Jess Garland, director of policy and research at the Electoral Reform Society, said: “This surge in registrations is highly encouraging, given the huge numbers missing from the electoral roll.

“We’re seeing a major uplift in new registrations compared to the last election, with large numbers of young people signing up too – a traditionally under-registered demographic. It’s vital we close the demographic divides in terms of who is registered. This is a strong start.
“However, since you cannot check whether you’re registered already, we estimate over a million of the registrations we’ve seen are likely to be duplicates.”

Politicians have been urging people to register to vote with just a few hours to go until the window closes at midnight on Tuesday.

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Monday was the biggest day for voter registration so far, with 351,257 applications.

Ahead of the deadline and as the polls showed Labour narrowing the Tory lead, Jeremy Corbyn said: “There are less than 24 hours left to register to vote and it couldn’t be more important.

“On Friday, Labour, unlike the Tories, got behind National Voter Registration Day, and it saw the largest surge in people registering to vote in this general election campaign.

“Please take five minutes and register to vote now and please ask your friends, family, neighbours and co-workers to do the same.

“This election is a once in a generation chance for real change: to end privatisation and give the NHS the funding it needs, to give people the final say and get Brexit sorted, to tackle the climate emergency that threatens all our futures and to invest in good jobs in every region and nation of our country.”


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