ONE DAY to go before voter registration for General Election 2019 closes

Polling Station, General Election 2015, Brixton, London by Andy Thornley

The deadline for registering to vote in the upcoming general election on 12 December is tomorrow at 11:59pm.

Each vote counts and you can register to be added to the electoral register, or to change your details, on the government website.

Register To Vote United Kingdom GIF by Oli Frost via GIPHY

To vote in a general election, you must:

  • Be registered to vote
  • Be 18 or over on the day of the election (‘polling day’)
  • Be a British, Irish or qualifying Commonwealth citizen
  • Be a resident at an address in the UK (or a British citizen living abroad who has been registered to vote in the UK in the last 15 years)
  • Not be legally excluded from voting

In case you miss the deadline, you can still apply to vote by post in England, Scotland or Wales, if you register before 5pm on 26 November.

There are 650 Members of Parliament (MPs) in the UK Parliament, representing the 650 constituencies in the country.

MPs are elected using the First Past the Post system where you vote once for a candidate in your constituency, and the candidate with the most votes becomes your MP.

You can find your constituency here and the current MPs running for the new MP position.

A ‘positive’ hoax made the news last Friday involving a link to a false article saying Jay-Z and Beyoncé had ended their marriage. The article was actually a link to register to vote in the general election.

Marvyn Harrison, a young founder of the podcast ‘Dope Black Dads’, posted on Twitter the fake news counting 9,200 retweets and 15,400 likes.

His tweet went viral and has received almost 10,000 responses to his tweet, with overall positive messages.

22 November, the day he tweeted the hoax, marked a peak in registration, with a total of 308,000 registrations, among which 206,000 registrations were done by an age group under 34 according to the Voter registration dashboard.

Applications by age group for the voter registration: under 25 and 25 to 34 count 206k of registrations

Harrison said that his tweet was not the principle source of the peak, but it may have influenced it.

Opinion polls show that a trend reversal is possible but the Conservative and Labour parties are still dominating.

The graph below uses a sample of 1,606 citizens and shows that the Conservative representatives are dominating with more than 40%.

This gives Boris Johnson’s party a 12 point lead over their closest rivals, the Labour Party.

Statistic: Voting intention in a general election in the United Kingdom from November 2017 to November 2019 | Statista
By Statista Research Department

In Edinburgh, candidates prepare for the general election as they hope to be elected in the MP position.

The constituency of Edinburgh South counts five candidates: Ian Murray (Labour), Nick Cook (Conservative), Alan Beal (Liberal Democrats), Catriona MacDonald (SNP) and Kate Nevens (Scottish Green).

Each candidate has their own strategy to win the election.

Murray, already counting three authorisations, said: “I plan to win by being here every single day, knocking on doors.

“We spoke to 4,000 thousand people over the last two weeks, we knocked at 12,000 doors. We’re out three times a day.

“We contact people on the phone, by e-mail, we give leaflets, we’re doing street stalls. We try to have a high visibility with social media, we communicate with people and listen with what they have to say and we try to help them.”

Similarly, Kate Nevens, The Scottish Green candidate, said: “I spent quite a lot of time in the area, sticking to people on their doorsteps in Morningside, in Bruntsfield, in Marchmont, and other areas.

“People are really engaged, not just on the constitutional crisis, on Brexit, but also they are also massively engaged on environment. We are trying to throw assumptions about climate change.”