Did we just make voter history? This chart suggests more people applied to vote yesterday than in recent memory

Catherine Neilan
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Voting history: Will yesterday compete with when voting age was lowered to 18? (Source: Getty)

Could yesterday turn out to be the biggest day for UK voter applications in recent history?

Certainly it was the biggest day for this General Election. Around 485, 000 people applied for registration on April 20 – the deadline for submissions ahead of May 7.
Of that, 469,000 came from online applicants, while 16,000 were made via the paper form. That overshadowed the previous spike of 166,000 seen on February 5, which was National Voter Registration Day.
While the ease of online registration could have concentrated the numbers of people into deadline day, there is another factor at play that could push yesterday into the (recent) history books.
This year there was a much higher number of people having to apply to get back onto the electoral register, after the introduction of individual voter registration knocked around one million people off the list. Students were most affected by the changes, although anyone who moved home also had to re-register.
In the run up to deadline day, the Electoral Commission warned that 7.5 million were still not eligible to vote.
The Electoral Commission could not confirm that it was the biggest day in history, telling City A.M. anecdotally that they would expect a rise in the number of paper forms towards the deadline for every election. A spokeswoman also noted that historically, applications would not have been taken centrally but gone direct to each local authority.
It may not compare to when women first got the vote back in 1918, or when the voting age was lowered to 18 in time for the 1970 election.
However this chart, showing how the uplift of online applications dwarves the increase in paper applications, suggests it could have been highly significant.