West Cornwall MP urges young people to register to vote.

New poll reveals students are unaware of EU referendum date and may be registered at wrong address to vote.

A poll conducted by YouthSight for Universities UK released on 20 May has revealed over half of British students are unaware of when the EU referendum is taking place. Of those who are, many may not be able to vote because of being registered at the wrong address.

Over 2 million students in the UK are eligible to vote in the referendum. However, the date of the referendum- outside of term time- may mean that many students will need to re-register if they will be at a different address on 23 June to where they where at the recent local elections (5 May).

Derek Thomas said ‘The EU referendum is a once in a lifetime vote that will have a significant impact on our young people. If there was ever an election where young people really must take part, this has got to be it. Whether the UK public vote to remain or leave, events abroad have significant impacts on pretty much everything we do including our jobs, advances in technology, food security and how we care for the environment. This is an opportunity for 18 year olds and above to have a voice and to engage in the direction and future of this great nation. It would be such a shame if they missed out by not registering to vote.’

The poll, based on the views of 2,000 students, also found that 63% of students were not able to name the date of the referendum, 54% of students did not know which month the referendum is taking place and only 56% of students who are registered to vote at their term time address are likely to be at this address at the time of the referendum.

Almost three quarters (72%) of students believe the outcome of the referendum will impact future students’ futures, yet a quarter (25%) who said they are registered only at their university address, confirmed they won’t be there on 23 June.

As a result of the information in this poll, national efforts are being made by Universities UK, the National Union of Students and the Association of Colleges to encourage students to register, re-register or apply for a postal vote, depending on their circumstances.

People have until 7 June to register if they want to vote in the EU referendum. Students and young people can find out more information about how to vote in the EU referendum at www.aboutmyvote.co.uk and can register to vote at: www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

For more information about the National poll, visit: http://www.youthsight.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/YouthSight-UUK-Students-EU-Poll-Final-Data-Tables-190516.zip


Derek Thomas