The government’s call for a general election on October 15th was partly intended to restrict the number of students who would vote, an aide has reportedly admitted.
The Times reports that the team behind Boris Johnson’s election campaign having an early date would restrict the number of students registering to vote, with many being unable to provide their address until they are settled at the end of September.
According to the newspaper Number 10 believed if students remained registered at their home address it would be less of a threat to the Conservatives than if they register with their university address, as they are less inclined to vote.
Young people were credited with helping Labour to deny the Conservatives of a majority in the 2017 general election.
New figures reveal that more than one million people have registered to vote since Boris Johnson became prime minister, with 200,000 people alone signing up this week and nearly 100,000 signing up since the House of Commons vote on an election.
A majority of those applicants were aged 35 and under – with experts predicting more to register when an election date is agreed.
Amanda Chetwynd-Cowieson, a campaigner from the anti-Brexit youth group For our Future’s Sake (FFS), said: “It is unfortunately unsurprising that Boris Johnson’s advisors are aiming for an earlier election, as a misconceived attempt to restrict the student vote.”
“Boris Johnson and his team know that young people and learners across Higher and Further Education do not want a vicious No Deal imposed on them, damaging their futures.
“No 10 are right to be scared – this generation of young people will get out and vote for pro-People’s Vote parties, no matter the time of the election.”
Polling has found that Boris Johnson’s chances of winning a majority in a general election are greater if he holds an election before October 31st – rather than after when the Brexit Party could steal his votes.