A SURGE in people signing up to vote across Oxfordshire has seen thousands register for June's 'vital' snap General Election.

New figures show Theresa May's announcement on Tuesday has sparked huge interest from Oxfordshire voters, with more than 5,300 people across the county rushing to sign up in the past week alone for the vote on June 8.

Martin John, elections chief at Oxford City Council, urged people to sign up before the May 22 deadline to make their voices heard.

He told the Oxford Mail: "Everyone has their view on how the country should be run and if the residents of Oxford want their voice to be heard in this general election, they need to register to vote.

"Democracy is vital to our society and the decisions made by the electorate will shape the future of Oxford and the UK.

"Registration is very simple but it is important that your name is on the electoral roll before the deadline in order to vote on June 8.

"I would encourage everyone to make sure they are registered in time so that they do not miss their opportunity."


After Theresa May’s speech, thousands of people in Oxfordshire registered to vote last week:

  • Oxford – 2,283
  • West Oxfordshire – 497
  • Cherwell – 1,781
  • South Ox/Vale of White Horse – 758
  • Total – 5,319

Figures: Oxfordshire councils

The Prime Minister is seeking a Conservative majority in Parliament to give her a stronger hand as Britain exits the European Union (EU), while opposition parties say it is a chance to highlight the Government's handling of schools funding and the NHS.

In Oxford, where 70 per cent of voters backed Remain in the EU Referendum last June, more than 1,400 people signed up on the day of Mrs May's speech, figures provided by the city council show.

A further 850 followed in the days afterwards.

Meanwhile, hundreds more signed up in neighbouring areas – according to their councils – bringing the total of people eligible to vote across the county in June to more than 480,000.

According to the Office for National Statistics, this represents about 70 per cent of Oxfordshire's estimated population of 677,800.

City councillor for St Clement's Tom Hayes has taken a leading role in encouraging residents across the county to register to vote in May's county elections, and urged young people to ensure their voices are also heard for June's General Election.

He went on to say it was vital to also ensure the country gets the 'best possible' Brexit deal, adding: "It's important that everybody has their voice heard. There's never been quite such an important election as this one.

"Please go online to check whether you’re registered to vote. If you’re not, and you want to have a say over the decisions affecting your future, register now. Governments have the power to change things and they listen to people who vote."

Registering to vote is simple and takes a few minutes online.

It is now too late to register for local elections taking place on May 4, but anyone who wants to vote in the Parliamentary elections still has 28 days left.

According to the Government, there has been a surge nationally in young people registering to vote this year.

It said more than 100,000 people aged under 25 had signed up since Tuesday.

But it is estimated just 40 per cent of this group turned out in the 2015 election, compared to 80 per cent of people aged 65 or older.

According to most polls, the Conservatives are ahead of Labour, led by Jeremy Corbyn, by more than 20 points currently.

But on Friday Mrs May urged voters to turn out for the election, insisting the result remained far from certain.

She said: "The election campaign has only just begun, I'm not taking anything for granted.

"I'm going to be out and about campaigning across the whole of the United Kingdom and meeting people in all different communities."

And Mr Corbyn claimed Labour was 'gaining a huge amount of ground' in the battle for voters' hearts and minds.

He added: "We've just started the election campaign and I'm loving every moment of it. We're gaining a huge amount of ground and we're getting a great deal of support."

Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats, meanwhile has predicted Labour will lose 'dozens and dozens' of seats on June 8, and said the only threat to the Conservatives came from his party.