Fylde coast MPs call for more student voters

Gordon Marsden
Gordon Marsden

Two of the Fylde Coast’s MPs, Gordon Marsden and Cat Smith, have urged higher and further education bosses to integrate voter registration in their student enrolment process.

Shadow minister for higher education Mr Marsden and Ms Smith (pictured), shadow minister for voter engagement, have written to all university vice-chancellors and further education intuitions that do HE courses, such as Blackpool and the Fylde College, about adopting this process to get more students to vote.

It follows a trial at Sheffield University which saw 76 per cent register, compared to some universities which were as low as 13 per cent.

The approach of integrating student enrolment with voter registration has been backed by Universities UK

and also been successfully adopted by other universities including at Lancaster.

Gordon said: “The pilot at Sheffield where voter registration was integrated within student enrolment shows

the big difference it can make to electoral registration numbers.

"We would like the same to be done at Blackpool and Fylde College, UCLAN, and other higher education providers across Lancashire and the North

West.

“To build an inclusive democracy, it requires active participation from people of all ages and backgrounds. However students are one of the most mobile and transient groups and often the most at risk of falling off the electoral register.

"We can do something about this by registering them when they enrol on their college or university courses and this in turn will get them into the habit of voting.”