YOUNG people have raced to sign up to vote in the Christmas election, in the fastest start for registrations on record.
More than 300,000 applications were made in 48 hours on Tuesday — as the poll began to appear inevitable and was then confirmed — and Wednesday.
Almost two-thirds of requests were from people aged 34 and under and only four per cent from over-65s.
It could help the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn after a YouGov survey last week showed 40 per cent of under-25s approve of him, compared with only 12 per cent for Tory prime minister Boris Johnson.
And Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson, vowing to cancel Brexit if elected, could also benefit as younger voters tend to back staying in the EU.
Willie Sullivan, of the Electoral Reform Society, said: ‘Younger people and renters are most at risk of being missing from the register, so it’s welcome to see this surge in registrations. But, with up to 9.4million people missing from the electoral roll, there’s a long way to go before we close the gap.’
Weekday applications to register have averaged about 37,000 in the past month. However, 139,162 were submitted on Tuesday as the December 12 general election was confirmed, and 177,105 on Wednesday. Overall, 103,848 were from under-25s and 101,933 from 25- to 34s.
The first two days after the 2015 general election was announced saw 167,508 applications. And Theresa May’s 2017 declaration was followed by 233,149. The survey also showed 75 per cent of under-25s thought badly of Mr Johnson, and 44 per cent of Mr Corbyn. Ms Swinson had the approval of 15 per cent while 31 per cent opposed her.