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Nearly 1 in 5 young people in London not registered to vote

  • By Gemma Kappala-R...

In a month’s time (23 June) millions of Londoners will head to the polls to take part in the EU referendum, but new figures have revealed that many 18-24 year olds will be unable to vote unless they act now. 

Research undertaken by TNS on behalf of the Regional Counting Officer for London showed that 19%, or nearly 1 in 5 young people say they are not registered to vote, compared to just 1% of those aged over 65. 

The study also revealed that nearly a quarter (24%) of private renters were either not registered or did not know if they were, compared to just 5% of those who owned their own home.

In addition, 56% of Londoners did not know that the deadline to register to vote falls on Tuesday 7 June, with 14% thinking it had already passed. 

Barry Quirk, Regional Counting Officer for London, said: “The EU referendum is constantly in the news, and Londoners are really keen to have their say. 

“But there are a lot of misconceptions, with many people believing they are automatically registered if they pay council tax or that their registration follows them to their new address if they move house. This isn’t the case.

“I don’t want anyone to be disappointed on polling day, so if you aren’t already registered, now is the time to take action by visiting www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.”

The research also revealed some more unusual findings:

  • Animal lovers in the capital enjoyed high levels of registration, but more cat lovers said they were registered than dog lovers (90% vs 87%).
  • Londoners who are married or living with a partner are more likely to be registered than single people (92% vs 85%).
  • Those who travel most frequently on Central line were more likely to be registered than those who regularly travel on the Piccadilly line (94% vs 84%)

The Cabinet Office has given additional funding to support local authorities, including many in London, to increase voter registration. Boroughs are spending this money on a range of local initiatives as well as joining forces to commission a joint digital campaign with adverts appearing on website including Facebook, Gumtree and the Evening Standard.

Ends

Notes to editors: 
1.    A sample of 1036 London adults aged 18+ were interviewed on TNS LondonBus as part of the research.
2.    There are over 5 million registered voters in London.
3.    At the referendum in London, there will be 3,754 polling stations, 11,262 ballot boxes, and over 12,000 polling station staff (approximate figures).