Almost half a million voters registered in the final hours before the deadline to participate in the 7 May UK general election, the vast majority of them young people. More than 485,000 people registered to vote online on Monday, with 16,000 paper applications made. According to figures from Gov.uk’s voter registration site, thousands left their registration until the last minute – quite literally. The Electoral Commission data shows that more than 3,700 people were accessing the service at 11.59pm on Monday night. Spikes from Monday evening saw more than 18,000 people accessing the site at certain times.
Of those registering online during the final day, almost 60% were from the two youngest age brackets: 152,000 were aged 25-34, with 137,000 under 24.
The oldest voters, those over 75, were the least likely to still be attempting to register, with just 5,303 registering online on Monday.
Numbers were buoyed by a last-minute push by broadcasters and on social media, which saw celebrities including Queen’s Brian May, actor Michael Sheen and former Doctor Who star Christopher Eccleston tweet and share links to voter registration. The number of people registering increased almost four-fold from the previous day.