With just two days remaining to register to vote, and three to register for a postal vote, Newnham Labour is making a final big push to ensure as many voters in the ward as possible are registered.
We are particularly concerned that many students, who make up 75% of voters in Newnham, could miss out on the opportunity to vote in Cambridge.
Fears have already been raised at a national level that, with most people under 45 in the UK still to be vaccinated, many young people are less likely to vote in-person this year. 42% of 18 to 25-year-olds said they were less likely to vote at a polling station this year, while the figure was 19% for 55 to 64-year-olds. Yet it also seems that the number of young people signing up for a postal vote is very low. Internal Labour polling data suggests that less than 10% of young people have signed up for a postal vote.
The recent announcement that most university students in England will be unable to return to campuses until 17 May, 11 days after polling day, means that the student vote risks being dispersed across the country. However, students can register to vote both at their home address and their term-time address, as long as these do not fall under the same local authority. This means that, using a postal or proxy vote, students can still vote in two sets of local elections, so they can still have their say on Cambridge issues that matter to them.
Delayed elections last year and boundary changes for the City Council mean that this year sees a larger-than-usual set of local elections. Voters will be able to elect candidates for the City Council, County Council, and Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, and Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.