Almost 27,000 students have now registered to vote, Union of Students in Ireland reveal
Around 8,000 of these have registered in the past three weeks.
Almost 27,000 new students have registered to vote in the upcoming referendum to repeal the Eight Amendment, the Union of Students in Ireland have announced.
This follows the urgent reminder issued by the National Youth Council of Ireland that upwards of 151,000 young people were not recorded as having registered, based on figures from both the Central Statistics Office and a November 2017 Red C Poll.
However, with only days to go until the 8 May deadline, USI said that a recent series of registration drives led by Students' Unions nationwide has resulted in the sudden surge among people within the student demographic.
Speaking about the voter registration drives, USI President Michael Kerrigan said:
"We’re not surprised to see so many new students registering to vote, it’s clear students want to vote on this issue. Our campaign is all about ensuring students are registered to vote and encouraging them to vote ‘Yes’ on May 25th to remove the Eighth Amendment for a more caring and compassionate Ireland.
"We have already registered over 18,000 students in semester one, with Students’ Unions registering a further 8000 new voters in the last 3 weeks. With more voter registration drives to go, we expect this number to rise. We’re not finished yet."
One of the key concerns surrounding unregistered young voters was the fact that approximately 60,000 people who turned 18 in the past 12 months may not have completed the process.
This matter has raised alarms within the Yes campaign, on top of the indications that the No campaign was making slight gains in the latest RedC poll from 26 March.
In that poll, over half of all adults (56%) intended to vote in favour of its repeal. However, 26% said that they would vote to protect the amendment, while another 18% either refused to answer or remained undecided.
Removing undecided voters, the Yes side was favoured by a 69% majority.
When compared with the a poll ran in January 2018, the decrease in Yes support had noticeably declined, since 60% of adults were in support of the Yes campaign at that time. This indicated that there had been a 4% decrease, while support for the No campaign had risen from 20% to 26%.
"It also reinforces the theory that undecided voters are more likely to vote No than those that have made up their mind, and that is where the real danger lies for the repeal campaign," said Red C founder, Richard Colwell.
"Were the majority of the undecided voters to eventually move to vote No, while some waverers on the Yes side also changed their mind, this referendum could be lost."
For more information and to check if you are registered, visit checktheregister.ie.