Over 2.6 million 18-34 year olds have registered to vote since the UK’s general election was announced on 27 October. According to gov.uk; 1,429,967 of those who registered are under 25, whilst 1,191,756 are 25-34 year olds, bringing the total number of registered 18-34 years olds to 2,621,723.
NUS (National Union of Students) has been running a voter registration campaign which has seen elected officers visiting college and university campuses across the country encouraging all students to register to vote before yesterday’s 26 November deadline. Whilst the data does not reflect the education or occupation of registered voters, the intensity and breadth of campaigning across UK campuses this Autumn has ensured a significant portion of the student population has been incentivised to register, contradicting accusations of student disengagement with mainstream politics.
Commenting, NUS National President Zamzam Ibrahim said:
“Some said students wouldn’t register to vote. That we’re “sensitive snowflakes”. That we’re stuck in an echo chamber. Some political parties are even counting on us not voting in order to win. But these numbers show that young people are a force to be reckoned with at this general election.
“From universal health and climate change to apartheid and equality, history shows that where students lead, others follow. Students and young people generally can make a huge difference at the ballot box on 12 December. Its really up to us to decide the kind of future we want to see. This is the election of our lives and we mean business.
“The timing of the general election as we approach the end of term for most institutions, isn’t ideal for students, but we won’t let that deter us. We’re encouraging everyone to think ahead, make a plan, and cast your vote for where it will have the most impact on polling day.”