Twitter confident youth voter turnout will be higher in 2015 as it teams up with Electoral Commission

Britain’s 15 million active Twitter users will see a prominent notification in their newsfeed urging them to register to vote this week, as the EC makes its final push to secure voters.

With April 20 the last point in which voters can register ahead of the May vote, the EC claims that over a million people have submitted an online application since it started its main campaign last month.

Of that figure, it says 300,000 applicants were from 18-24 year olds, with the campaign’s primary goal to up the number of young voters.

“It’s now time for one last push and Twitter will help us remind millions of people that there’s just a week left before the deadline,” said Alex Robertson, director of communications at the Electoral Commission.

To date, the Electoral Commission has teamed up with social media influencers such as the cast of Channel Four’s Gogglebox and also launched its National Voter Registration day back in February, with the latter contributing to over 166,000 people submitting an online application form. It also utilised Facebook for a youth-geared ‘use your age wisely’ campaign last month.

Its efforts have been geared towards boosting the number of people registering online opposed to filling out time-consuming, psychical forms.

Only 44% of 18 to 24 year olds voted in 2010 compared to 76% of over-65s, according to Ipsos MORI.

However, Joanna Geary, Twitter’s head of news and government, told Marketing Week earlier this month that she expects the rise of social media to up voter turnaround this time around.

“There’s almost 80% of MPs on Twitter now and they know how crucial it can be in engaging the youth vote,” she said. “After seeing the way Twitter was used in the Scottish Referendum, where there were over 7 million tweets, I’m confident it will be one of the key reasons youth voter turnout will be up in 2015 over 2010.”

Twitter claims that 37% of its users go to Twitter to actively look for information about politics, with 47% of 18-34 year olds reconsidering their votes on a specific issue as a result of using the platform.

“The effect on Twitter users when contacted by a politician is more powerful than recommendations from friends or families in deciding a vote,” added Geary.

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