General election 2019 latest: young voter surge gives hope to Labour

The window to register to vote in the 12 December general election has shut, leaving the UK’s main political parties scrambling to determine exactly who they need to woo.

Of the 3.2 million new registrations since the election was called, two-thirds were by people aged under 35 – good news for Labour, which is closing the gap with the Conservatives in the polls. However, latest surveys by ICM and Kantar give the Tories leads of seven and 11 points respectively – still some way ahead.

The i news site notes that many of those “signing up in a last-minute flurry” were already on the system, with some simply changing their address details or seeking to change the way they vote to proxy or postal ballots. “The figures still indicate a record number of the people on the electoral register, though,” says the site.

Out on the campaign trail, Jeremy Corbyn has conceded that his party’s plan to scrap a tax break for married couples would mean some people earning below £80,000 would be taxed more under a Labour government. The tax relief was introduced by David Cameron in 2015 to promote marriage, and saves couples up to £250 a year.

Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Neil, Corbyn also struggled to outline how he would fund Labour’s £58bn plan to restore pensions to women born in the 1950s.

And the Labour leader declined to apologise to the Jewish community following yesterday’s criticism of the Labour Party by the UK’s chief rabbi.

Meanwhile, Nicola Sturgeon will today launch the Scottish National Party’s manifesto, and will warn that Boris Johnson is “dangerous and unfit for office”. The SNP’s plans will be of especial interest to Labour, who will be keen to know the possible price of Sturgeon’s support in the event of a hung parliament.

Johnson is also the target of the Liberal Democrat’s latest campaigning attack. The party has printed election posters that say: “Johnson has shown time and again that he can’t be trusted. He’s lied to the Queen, he’s lied to Parliament and he’s lied to the British people.”


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