#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 12°C Sunday 20 September 2020
Advertisement

Adele, Zayn Malik and Stormzy lead push as 700,000 register to vote on UK 'deadline day'

Yesterday was the final day in which people could register to vote.

Stormzy wears a Union Jack stab vest on stage in Glastonbury.
Stormzy wears a Union Jack stab vest on stage in Glastonbury.
Image: Instagram

THE ‘DEADLINE DAY’ for voting in the UK general election saw almost 700,000 people sign up for the 12 December poll. 

Yesterday was the final day in which people who weren’t already registered could sign up and the Electoral Reform Society has said that 659,666 applications were submitted.

This represents a new record since registration data was first published in June 2014, outstripping the deadline day for the previous two elections. 

In 2017, 622,398 signed up on the final day while there were 485,012 registrations on the equivalent day for the 2015 poll.

The push to sign up more voters saw interventions from several influential figures, with UK musicians such as Adele, Zayn Malik, Stormzy and MIA sharing a link to their combined 57 million Twitter followers. 

Stomzy’s tweet alone, which linked to the UK government’s online registration portal, was retweeted over 24,000 times. 

London rapper Stormzy frequently comments on UK politics and yesterday came out in support of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, saying:

Boris Johnson is a sinister man with a long record of lying and policies that have absolutely no regard for the people that our government should be committed to helping and empowering 

Stormzy’s intervention saw Tory minister Michael Gove mocked and criticised when he used the rapper’s lyrics in a defence of Johnson.

Gove had responded to Stormzy’s support for Corbyn by claiming the grime artist is “a far, far better rapper than he is a political analyst”.

When shadow education secretary Angela Rayner then tweeted “Michael Gove is crap at both”, Gove, responded with the lyrics: “I set trends dem man copy.”

Voter registration

Other methods used online by people o encourage others to register to vote essentially involved the creation of false viral news stories.

One such example claimed that Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy were to settle their differences on a TV court programme, only for the link to send people to the voter registration page. 

Being added to the electoral register is a relatively simple process in the UK with Irish citizens who live in the UK eligible to take part in the election.

In addition to the 659,666 applications that were made yesterday, some 3.85 million applications have been submitted since 29 October – the day that MPs voted to hold an election.

Of that number, 37% have been submitted by people aged under 25, while 30% have come from people aged 25 to 34. By contrast, just 4% were from people aged 65 and over.

The number of applications to vote is not the same as the number of new people joining the electoral register.

They are merely applications to join the register, which have yet to be approved or rejected.

Typically, these include a lot of people who are already on the register, or who are not eligible to vote – so the number of new voters able to take part in the election on 12 December is likely to be somewhat smaller than the total applications.

- With reporting by Press Association 

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

Read next:

COMMENTS (12)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel