Young People and Electoral Registration in the UK: Examining Local Activities to Maximise Youth Registration

Research paper by Snelling, C. J.

Indexed on: 17 Jul '16Published on: 12 Jul '16Published in: Parliamentary affairs


Using data and written feedback published as part of the UK Cabinet Office's evaluation of 24 UK local authority projects aimed at maximising registration in under-registered groups, this article explores the potential of electoral registration activities when designed to encourage a more electorally active youth. Focusing on six cases from the evaluation—covering examples of intensive canvassing, partnership work and publicity campaigns—it considers the relative effectiveness of traditional duty-based canvass activities versus more informal, less administrative initiatives. In doing so it develops wider thinking about youth engagement and finds that despite the notable contribution of those activities which are less overtly connected to formal politics and electoral administration, much can still be gained from the direct recruitment techniques found in canvassing.