With four days left until the deadline to register to vote in England, Preet Kaur Gill MP is urging young people to register to vote and have their voices heard ahead of the elections on May 6th.
Just 7% of 18-25 year olds have registered for a postal vote in the West Midlands, the lowest rate in the country. This is in comparison to those aged over 65 where the rate jumps to 23%.
With less than half of 18-25-year-olds voting at the 2019 General Election, turnout among young people is expected to be historically low at the May elections amid the pandemic.
Preet Kaur Gill, MP for Edgbaston in Birmingham said, “In my constituency alone, there are three universities, with collectively more than 55,000 students. However, even with this large student population, the West Midlands has the lowest voter registration of young people by post than anywhere else in the country.
“At 7% this is staggeringly low and after the devastating year that many students and young people have had, it’s imperative that they make their voices heard.”
Preet has said that young people must be at the heart of Britain’s recovery from this crisis, with successive Conservative governments weakening Britain’s foundations and robbing too many young people of the opportunities they deserve.
Labour warns that Government inaction on postal voting threatens UK democracy and public health and is calling for councils to receive dedicated Government support for postal vote sign up efforts ahead of the deadline for postal vote registration in England on 20th April.
With those aged 18 and older due to be vaccinated by 31 July in England, many young people unlikely to be vaccinated by election day.
Preet continued, “Young people have played a central role in our country’s response to this crisis, with many volunteering to support the most vulnerable in our communities and fighting as key workers on the front line to protect our families. The Tories continue to treat young people as an afterthought in this crisis – these are our workers of the future.
“Young people are not expected to be vaccinated ahead of the May polls, which makes postal vote sign-up critical. In the Midlands, we have some really important elections with the hopes of a new West Midlands Mayor in Liam Byrne and a Labour Police and Crime Commissioner in Simon Foster, the region has a real opportunity to change its future and make it a bright one for everyone who lives and works here.”
Notes to Editors:
- The deadline for signing up for a postal vote is 20th April in England and Wales https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/voter/voting-person-post-or-proxy/voting-post
- A survey by the Electoral Commission finds that 22% of people who normally vote in person said they intend to vote by post. https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/cy/node/23522
- The Local Government Information Unit (LGIU) found that 71% of council officials are concerned about disenfranchising voters with Covid concerns https://lgiu.org/publication/free-fair-and-safe/
- Polling research from Ipsos MORI suggests that turnout in 2019 ranged from 47% among 18 to 24-year olds up to 74% among over-65s https://www.ipsos.com/ipsos-mori/en-uk/how-britain-voted-2019-election
- According to a written answer, the Government are on course to offer a vaccine to all priority groups including those aged 50 years old and over by 15 April and all adults aged 18 years old and over by 31 July. https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-03-19/172107