Belfast Telegraph

General Election 2019: Stormzy urges young people to register to vote as thousands scramble to meet Northern Ireland deadline

Stormzy posted on social media to encourage yong people to vote
Stormzy posted on social media to encourage yong people to vote

By Eimear McGovern

London rapper Stormzy has taken to social media in an effort to encourage young people to register to vote ahead of the deadline on Tuesday night.

In posts on Instagram and Twitter, Stormzy threw his weight behind Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, saying he was "the first man in a position of power who is committed to giving the power back to the people and helping those who need a helping hand from the government the most.

"It is very very very important that every single person who reads this goes and registers to vote," he said.

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It is very very very important that every single person who reads this goes and registers to vote. The deadline is 23:59 tomorrow, the link is in my bio. Do not just scroll past, don’t sit there and think “my one little vote ain’t gonna do anything”—your vote is CRUCIAL. Your “one little vote” can quite literally tip the scale for what will be the most important election of our generation. Your “one little vote” means everything, there were millions of people who thought there “one little vote” didn’t mean shit and now Trump is the president of America and we are leaving the EU. So your vote really does count. I will be registering to vote and I will be voting for Jeremy Corbyn. There are several reasons as to why I’m voting for him - I would be here all day if I began to list them...but in my 26 years of life I have never trusted politicians or relied on them to be the bearers of hope and righteous people that we’ve needed them to be. And for me, he is the first man in a position of power who is committed to giving the power back to the people and helping those who need a helping hand from the government the most. I think Boris Johnson is a sinister man with a long record of lying and policies that have absolutely no regard for the people that our government should be committed to helping and empowering. I also believe it is criminally dangerous to give the most powerful role in the country to a man who has said that the sight of a “bunch of black kids” makes him “turn a hair”, compared women in burqas to letterboxes and referred to blacks people as “picaninnies” with “watermelon smiles”. I think it’s extremely dangerous to have a man with those views as the sole leader of our country. These are all MY views, I don’t care for your love or hate for them. I just think it’s important that we all register and go out and vote. And I think it’s important that we use our vote to make sure that the person who runs our country for the next 4 years is someone committed to doing what is right. GO OUT AND DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH AND TRY YOUR BEST TO LEARN AND UNDERSTAND WHO IT IS YOU’RE VOTING FOR. THE LINK TO REGISTER TO VOTE IS IN MY BIO. 💪🏿

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"Do not just scroll past, don’t sit there and think “my one little vote ain’t gonna do anything”—your vote is CRUCIAL. Your “one little vote” can quite literally tip the scale for what will be the most important election of our generation," he said.

His post was later mocked by Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove.

Thousands have registered to vote in Northern Ireland in the weeks since the General Election was called.

The Electoral Commission said there was a “real push” on to add people to the electoral register ahead of the deadline at midnight on Tuesday.

Just over half of young people between the ages of 16 and 34 in Northern Ireland are on the electoral register.

And more than 47,000 new applications were made in Northern Ireland to join the electoral register since the MPs fired the starting gun in October.

It is thought the electoral roll is around 74% complete.

Analysis of Electoral Commission data has revealed the number of people who don’t vote often dwarfs the number of people that vote for the winning MP.

Cahir Hughes, head of the Electoral Commission in Northern Ireland, said people who had moved house recently were less likely to be registered to vote.

“If you’ve been living in your house for under a year, there’s a one in 10 chance that you’ll be correctly registered,” he said.

Meanwhile social media users have used the long-running dispute between Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy as a way to spark interest among young people.

Manchester City player Raheem Sterling also encouraged people to register in what he described as "a public service announcement".

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