More than 50 percent of university students in the U.K. do not know when the EU referendum is taking place, revealed a new poll published on Friday.
The poll, conducted by YouthSight for Universities UK, showed that of the 2,000 students surveyed, 72 percent thought that the outcome of the referendum would have a significant effect on their futures.
However, up to 200,000 students across the U.K. may not be able to have their say and vote, as many are unaware of when the referendum will take place or are registered to vote in the wrong place, reported The Guardian.
Up to 200,000 students could miss vote on EU referendum, poll shows https://t.co/0OhjGYVEjt
— The Guardian (@guardian) May 20, 2016
The referendum is set to take place on June 23, which is during the term holidays.
While nearly two million students are eligible to vote in the referendum, many are either not registered at the address where they will be on the day of the vote or have not applied for a postal/proxy vote.
According to the poll, slightly more than half (56 percent) of the students who have registered only at their term-time address are likely to be there on polling day, and a quarter (25 percent) who are registered only at their university address confirmed they would not be there on the day of the referendum vote.
EU referendum: majority of students back staying in, but many may end up unable to vote https://t.co/hPzKCP0DSO pic.twitter.com/wAdXpUgkte
— TimesHigherEducation (@timeshighered) May 20, 2016
Despite efforts to raise awareness and increase student voter registration numbers, the poll found that 63 percent of students were not able to name the date of the referendum, and 54 percent of students had no idea in which month the referendum is taking place.
Universities UK chief executive Nicola Dandridge said in a statement: “While it is good that many students are interested in the outcome of the referendum, it is of real concern that so many are unaware of the referendum date and of the fact that they may have to re-register to vote at another address.”
She said that universities were intensifying their efforts in the run up to the referendum in order to get students to register as voters and to ensure that they are registering using the right address.
Students debating EU Referendum with @NickBolesMP at @Westking King’s Cross Centre https://t.co/NvyWbjJApk #EUref pic.twitter.com/27lKnHS8TO
— WestminsterKingsway (@Westking) May 20, 2016
“It is important that students think about where they are likely to be on June 23 and also to consider registering to vote by post or by proxy,” she said, adding that it was vital that students have all the necessary information to make sure they can “take part in this hugely important decision.”
Among those who said they were most likely to actually vote on the day, 52 percent supported remaining in the EU and 26 percent said probably, with only 7 percent and 6 percent on the Brexit side.
Those eligible to vote have until June 7 to register, and can do so at: www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. Applications for postal/proxy voting closes at 5pm on June 8. To find out more about how to vote in the EU referendum, visit www.aboutmyvote.co.uk.
Image via Flickr.
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