Scots urged to register to vote as 600,000 could miss out on EU elections

More than half a million Scots face being unable to vote in the European elections because they are not registered, research has found.

A campaign to get people to sign up to vote has been launched after an estimated 600,000 potential voters in Scotland were not on the electoral register.

On May 23, voters in Scotland will elect six of the 736 members of the European Parliament who are responsible, along with the Council of Ministers from member states, for making laws and approving budgets.

The research, commissioned by pro-European Union group Best for Britain found a “staggering” number of adults would not be to able to vote unless they register by the May 7 midnight deadline.

EU citizens, private renters and young people were the groups most likely to be missing from the electoral roll, the research added.

MP portraits
Ian Murray MP (Chris McAndrew/UK Parliament/PA)

Ian Murray, MP for Edinburgh South, said: “It’s really concerning that huge swathes of people across the country who have the right to vote in the European elections this May aren’t currently registered.

“This analysis shows 600,000 people in Scotland could be at risk of losing the right to have their voice heard at such a crucial juncture for the country’s future, with young people, private renters and EU citizens some of the groups most at risk of missing out. That needs to change.

“Whether you voted Leave or Remain, your voice needs to be heard. Get out and get registered.”

Best for Britain has now launched a new tool at getvoting.org to help users to register to vote and obtain a postal vote, as well as reminders for various electoral deadlines.

Interim chief executive of Best for Britain Naomi Smith said: “The numbers we’re seeing for people who aren’t yet registered to vote are staggering.

“These people have a big part to play in the future direction of our country and we will do everything in our power to ensure their voice is heard on polling day with everyone else’s.

“That’s why we’re launching this vital tool that will make registering to vote or getting a postal vote much easier, and reminding people when they need to get registered.

“This is a big moment for the country and every voter should be counted.”

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