General election: More than 1.5 million people apply for voter registration in fortnight since poll called

‘It’s vital that every eligible voter can have their say,’ says Labour

Ashley Cowburn
Political Correspondent
Wednesday 13 November 2019 14:40 GMT
General Election 2019: Opinion polls over the last seven days

More than 1.5 million individuals have applied for voter registration since the general election was called a fortnight ago, according to the latest government data.

Figures show that record numbers of young people are also applying, with just 13 days remaining for individuals to register to vote in the first December election for almost a century.

The latest data shows that 1,332,506 individuals have applied online for voter registration since MPs voted for the early election. The Cabinet Office said a further 170,365 paper applications were received in the same period.

On 12 November – two weeks ahead of the voter registration deadline – a surge in applications was recorded, with 160,000 using the government website.

Among these people, more than 110,000 were under the age of 34, with 67,000 under the age of 25 alone, representing the highest number of under-25s applying for voter registration during any single day in the election campaign so far.

The increase in the amount of applications should not be treated as direct evidence of an increase in the number of those able to vote since some individuals may already be on local authorities’ voter lists.

But according to an analysis by Labour, the number of applications are up considerably compared to the same two-week period of the 2017 snap general election, when 700,000 people did so.

In the first two days when it became clear the UK was heading towards its first December election since 1923, more than 300,000 individuals sent off voter registration applications.

Nearly two-thirds – 65 per cent – of applications were from people aged 34 and under, while just 4 per cent came from those aged 65 and over.

Cat Smith, the shadow minister for voter engagement and youth affairs, said: “The Tories know that when lots of people are registered to vote, they are less likely to do well in elections.”

She also claimed: “The prime minister tried to fix the date of when a general election might happen to make it harder for students to take part, but young people have responded by signing up in their droves.

“Ahead of the most important general election for a generation, it’s vital that every eligible voter can have their say.”

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