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Students 'Voting Twice' In General Election 'Unlikely To Have Impacted Outcome'

One Tory MP alleged that some students voted 'four times'.

18/07/2017 14:00 BST | Updated 18/07/2017 14:02 BST

An election analyst has cast doubt over claims that some Tory politicians could have lost their seats in the General Election due to double-voting by students. 

Last night, the Electoral Commission highlighted “troubling” reports that a number of people voted twice in the election, saying evidence had emerged of people admitting to the offence online. 

More than 1,000 emails were sent to the watchdog by members of the public over the issue, while 38 MPs also complained about the alleged crimes. 

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The Electoral Commission has raised 'troubling' claims of double voting in the General Election 

A number of Conservative politicians were quick to point the finger of blame at students, saying they had used their right to register at both their home and university addresses to abuse the system.   

Conservative Karl McCartney, who lost his Lincoln seat in the election, told the Daily Mail: “We have screenshots of students on Facebook saying that they voted twice.

“Potentially, this was a factor in my defeat. Of the 3,200 who registered to vote in the last 24 hours, 500 were already registered.” 

Meanwhile, Heather Wheeler, Tory MP for South Derbyshire, told the paper that some students had admitted to voting up to four times.  

But election analyst Matt Singh, who founded Number Cruncher Politics, said even if allegations of student fraud were true, this would not have had a “material difference” on the outcome of the election. 

Acknowledging that many of those who are able to register at two addresses are students, Singh said: “The thing to remember is that even if a student had voted twice, it would be in a studenty area and most of these areas are safe Labour seats anyway. 

“It could theoretically - and I mean very theoretically - have made a difference in somewhere like Canterbury or somewhere like Oxford East. 

“But in general, it would have to happen in quite big size and in specific places to make a difference,” he added. 

In its report, the Electoral Commission said that there was not yet evidence of “widespread” abuse. 

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Labour MP John Mann said the claims were an attempt to suppress young voters 

Labour MP John Mann suggested that the accusations by Tory politicians were an attempt to suppress young voters following the highest youth turnout in a General Election in 25 years. 

More than one million 18 to 24-year-olds registered to vote following Theresa May’s snap election announcement, with 64% of registered voters under 25 heading to the polls. 

Of this group, 62% voted for Labour, with age heralded as the “new dividing line in British politics” by pollsters. 

Mann wrote on Twitter: “This is a Tory campaign to stop students voting.

“I bet that none of the 38 MPs have referred to the police what is a criminal offence.”  

Meanwhile, the Electoral Commission said tools to tackle double voting should be explored “quickly”.