More than 300,000 people, including over 200,000 under-35s, registered to vote in the general election on Friday in the fourth-largest surge in UK political history.
The 308,000 total broke the record for applications on a single day before the final deadline to sign up. It was beaten only by deadline days ahead of general elections in 2017 – when a record 622,389 signed up – and 2015 as well as the EU referendum in 2016.
Campaigners are hoping to maintain momentum up to the final 26 November deadline for entries on the electoral roll for the 12 December election, in a bid to reach millions of people who are still not signed up.
The race to join the electoral roll took place on the unofficial National Voter Registration Day declared by campaigners and backed by civil society groups and trade unions with the social-media hashtag #RegisterToVote.
Among those signing up were 103,000 under-25s, 103,000 25- to 34-year-olds, 53,000 35- to 44-year-olds, 28,500 45- to 54 year-olds and around 20,000 over-54s.
The figures, released by the Cabinet Office, represent a boost for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, which enjoys its strongest support among younger generations and backed yesterday’s registration drive. Some of those applying are likely already to be registered on the system.
The party will be hoping the numbers may help it recreate the “youthquake” effect credited by some for boosting its vote in 2017.
Mr Corbyn said: “Yesterday Labour got behind National Voter Registration Day – unlike the Conservatives – because we want you to have a say in the future of our country.
“And more than 300,000 people registered to vote. Make sure you can have your say on 12th December.”
An Electoral Commission spokesperson said: “It’s great to see so many organisations working alongside us to encourage people to register to vote. These efforts are clearly delivering results.
“However, with up to one in six people potentially unregistered there is more work to do to ensure that they can register by the 26 November deadline. It only takes five minutes to register at gov.uk/register-to-vote.”
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