A lot is being made of the surge in voter registration applications
for the UK's 2019 general election, with particular focus being placed on the amount of younger people getting themselves onto the electoral roll. Are we right to be excited/worried (depending on your viewpoint) by these figures though? How does it compare to the last time we were summoned to the ballot boxes?
Electoral Reform Society
analysis of the applications made over a comparable time period for the 2017 election reveal that the 2019 surge is indeed noteworthy. In the 35 days from the election being called to the registration deadline, 2017 saw 2.9 million people put in an application. making a daily average of 84 thousand. This year though, in the 29 days between announcement and deadline, there were 3.9 million applications - 133 thousand per day.
Apparently then, this pivotal election is inspiring considerably more people to get out and vote. But what about the supposed rush of young voters - is that also extraordinary? Well, there have certainly been more young people applying this time round, but as our chart shows, proportionally there is little difference to 2017. In fact, the 67 percent accounted for by those aged 34 and younger is actually below the 69 percent observed in 2017. The 'youthquake' may in the end materialise, but we probably shouldn't be getting too carried away just yet.