Election 2017

General election 2017: How many people are registering to vote?

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Media captionHow do I register to vote?

More than 930,000 people have applied to register to vote since Theresa May announced she was seeking an early election.

Of these, more than 390,000 were aged under 25 - 42% of the total.

The highest number of registrations was on the day Mrs May made her speech, with 147,000 people registering online and 3,364 paper forms being submitted.

There was another surge on the day of the local elections, with 67,600 registering on 4 May.

Although numbers have begun to drop off, there are still significant numbers of voters making sure they can have their say at the ballot box.

Image copyright Gov.uk

A spike in the numbers on 7 April, which saw 84,600 people register, has been attributed to a Facebook reminder that went out to users across the UK.

The deadline to register to vote in the general election is 22 May.

After campaigning to get more people registered in time for the last general election in 2015 and the EU referendum in 2016, the Electoral Commission said the deadline to register was "a significant motivating factor". A spokeswoman added: "A large number of people apply to register in the days immediately before and on the deadline itself."

The biggest group getting their applications in to vote during this surge is young people.

Why are young people signing up to vote?

Many of those registering will be people who have turned 18 since the referendum, or students who have moved house.

Rachael Farrington, university student and founder of Voting Counts - a campaign to encourage voters to register - said another factor was that "young people have seen recently examples of how voting really does count, particularly with the EU referendum, and this is encouraging them to get involved".

Image copyright Gov.uk

Jonelle Awomoyi, who is 18 and a Member of the Youth Parliament, echoed that point: "Surprise results like Brexit and Donald Trump have made people who thought politics was boring and for old people reconsider."

She added that in previous elections her contemporaries had complained "all politicians are the same - but with Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn as leaders that's clearly not the case".

On the day the general election was called, 57,987 people under 25 registered to vote - more than any other age group. The second largest group was people aged between 25 and 34, with a further 51,341 registering.

The number of new registrations declined the older people got:

  • 19,321 people aged between 35 to 44 registered
  • 10,224 people aged between 45 and 54 registered
  • 6,410 people aged between 55 and 64 registered
  • 3,676 people aged between 65 and 74 registered
  • 1,215 people aged over 75 registered.

The Facebook-related spike on 7 April actually saw the 25-to-34 group with the most registrations - 31,211 people - but this was followed by the under-25s, with 22,138 registrations.

Just 3,175 people 65 or over registered on that day.

Despite the rise in registration among younger people, Emma Hartley, head of campaigns at the Electoral Commission stressed: "It's really important that anyone who is eligible to vote at next month's general election is able to take part.

"if you're not registered to vote where you live by the deadline of 22 May then you won't be able to have your say.

"We know that young people, students and people who have recently moved house are less likely to be registered. We're urging anyone not yet registered to go online and register as soon as possible."

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