Almost eight million people could miss their chance to vote in EU elections

PUBLISHED: 07:00 01 May 2019

A polling station for local elections. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA.

A polling station for local elections. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA.

PA Archive/PA Images

A campaign group has claimed that "far fewer" people are registered to vote than the electoral roll shows, with an estimated 7.9million eligible voters still not on the register.

Research commissioned by Best for Britain across the UK shows that “hundreds of thousands of people” are missing from the electoral register in every region.

The numbers are highest among private renters, young people, and UK-based EU citizens.

MPs have called on the government to cut the red tape around registering UK-based EU citizens, as those who intend to vote here have to sign and post an additional form.

MORE: Less than 0.01% of EU citizens' voter forms received due to election 'havoc', say MPs

MORE: How to register to vote in the European elections

To encourage more people to register to vote by the deadline of midnight on May 7, Best for Britain have launched an online tool to help people sign up.

The site, GetVoting.org, walks people through the process and also reminds users of various electoral deadlines.

Commenting on the analysis, Green party leader Caroline Lucas said: “It's really concerning that huge swathes of people across the country who have the right to vote in the European elections this May, aren't currently registered.

“This analysis shows nearly eight million people could be at risk of losing the right to have their voice heard at such a crucial juncture for the country's future, with young people, private renters and EU citizens some of the groups most at risk of missing out. 
“That needs to change.”

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Interim CEO of Best for Britain Naomi Smith called the figures “staggering”.

“These people have a big part to play in the future direction of our country, and we will do everything in our power to ensure their voice is heard on polling day with everyone else's,” she added.

The analysis, undertaken by Number Cruncher Politics, calculated the number of people eligible to vote in the upcoming European elections for every region in the UK, and compared it with estimates of the number of people on the electoral register.

Matt Singh of Number Cruncher Politics said: “Because electoral registers contain many inaccuracies, far fewer people are registered to vote than it might appear from their size.

“This, in turn, means that millions of those eligible to vote are not registered to do so.”

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