REVEALED: More than 5,000 people rush to register to vote ahead of General Election
IT'S time to register and vote in '˜the most important election for a generation'.
That’s the message from our local MPs and councils, with just over five weeks to go until the general election.
Their call comes as The News can reveal 5,629 people in the Portsmouth area have rushed to sign up to vote since the snap election was called last month.
MPs overwhelmingly backed prime minister Theresa May’s call for the poll on June 8.
Figures show 3,282 people in Portsmouth registered to vote with the city council between Tuesday April 18, when the election was called, and Tuesday April 25.
A total of 883 people registered in Fareham, 551 in Gosport and 913 through Havant Council, which covers Havant as well as part of the Meon Valley constituency.
MP Penny Mordaunt will be defending her position as representative for Portsmouth North.
She said: ‘People often say it won’t make a difference who we vote for, well that doesn’t apply to this election.
‘There is a clear and distinct choice, so whatever people’s political view I hope they will exercise their democratic right and vote.’
Calling for the surprise election, Mrs May said at a time of ‘enormous national significance’ there should be more unity in Westminster.
The Conservatives currently hold 330 seats in Parliament, just four more than is needed for a majority.
Havant MP Alan Mak, who secured just over 51 per cent of the vote in his constituency in 2015, said: ‘This is the most important election for a generation, and I hope as many residents as possible will take part.
‘On 8 June, we decide who is prime minister, the direction of our country, and who our local MP will be. I encourage everyone to register and vote.’
Caroline Dinenage, MP for Gosport, said: ‘Getting as many people as possible to vote is absolutely vital to ensuring that parliament represents the interests of everyone.’
And Flick Drummond, Conservative MP for Portsmouth South, said: ‘The bottom line for me and, I think for all those who value our way of life, is we must get as many people as possible at the polling stations as that is what makes our system work well.’
People can sign up to vote either online or by post.
Voters have also been signing up ahead of the county council elections, which take place on May 4.
The deadline to register to vote in the general election is May 22, but it is too late to register for the county council elections.
To fill in an online application go to gov.uk/register-to-vote.