Labour pushed voter registration online more than any other party

Labour and some of its high-profile supporters did more to push people to register to vote than any other party, social media statistics show.

In the period from the election being called on October 29 to the voter registration deadline on November 26, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn posted a link to the Government’s voter registration website 26 times on Twitter and 31 times on Facebook.

In contrast, Prime Minister Boris Johnson did not tweet the link or even the word “register” in that time, only sharing it once to Facebook. He also shared information on applying for a postal vote once.

Here's one I made earlier.gov.uk/register-to-vote#RegisterToVote🌹

Posted by Jeremy Corbyn on Saturday, November 23, 2019

PA news agency analysis of figures from Twitter and social monitoring platform Crowdtangle showed the most popular posts linking to voter registration were shared predominantly by pro-Labour or anti-Tory accounts.

Nearly 700,000 people applied to register to vote on Tuesday, the deadline to take part in next month’s General Election – the largest volume of applications submitted in a single day since registration data was first published in June 2014.

In the nine days leading up to the deadline, eight out of the top 10 Facebook posts which linked to the registration website were by accounts that explicitly support Mr Corbyn – with six of those posted by the Labour leader himself.

The remaining two posts, ordered by their total number of interactions such as likes, comments or shares, were by anti-Brexit campaign group Led By Donkeys and the band Gorillaz, who shared an image of a red Labour rose.

Voting is for life, unlike this temporary tattoo. Register before midnight tomorrow night.gov.uk/register-to-vote#useyourvoice #registertovote

Posted by Gorillaz on Monday, November 25, 2019

PA also analysed Twitter posts between October 29 and November 26 that included the registration link, ranking them by a combined total of likes and retweets.

Half of the top 10 were posted by Mr Corbyn himself or an open supporter of his – the rapper Stormzy, actor Rob Delaney and teenage activist Hasan Patel.

The most popular tweets that included a link to voter registration
(PA Graphics)

The rest of the top 10 did not explicitly support Labour, but Harry Potter actor Matthew Lewis, who tops the list, recently tweeted: “Register to vote and get (Boris Johnson) as far away from power as you possibly can.”

Footballer Raheem Sterling, in third position, openly endorsed a Labour MP in the 2015 general election.

The remaining three tweets were posted by YouTubers KSI and Daniel Howell and former One Direction star Zayn Malik, who do not appear to have openly voiced support for any party.

Crowdtangle data showed four of the top 10 Instagram posts which used the link in the nine days prior to the deadline included hashtags which were either pro-Labour or anti-Tory. The other six were neutral.

Mr Corbyn has claimed Mr Johnson not asking people to register to vote on Twitter shows “he doesn’t want you to vote in this General Election”.

The Labour leader directed a similar criticism towards Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson. Ms Swinson only shared the registration link once to Facebook and Twitter, both on the day of the deadline.

SNP Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon shared the link four times to Facebook but not to Twitter.

Nigel Farage, the leader of the Brexit Party, has not shared the voter registration link on social media since before the 2016 referendum on EU membership.

Green Party co-leaders Sian Berry and Jonathan Bartley tweeted the link once between them but did not share it to Facebook.

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