Thousands of students have been sharing a tactical voting tool that allows them to find out where their vote will count most in the General Election.
The website ge2017.com/students, created as part of the #TurnUp voter registration campaign, compares where students live during term-time and in the holidays, identifying whether either of the constituencies are swing seats.
It then recommends where their vote is “worth more”, with students allowed to register at both their home and university addresses under electoral rules.
According to Matt Morley, who created the tool, more than 32,500 people have used the website since it launched on Saturday.
“We know from social media that students are switching where they are going to vote because of this site,” he said.
“It is overwhelmingly people who support parties on the left who are doing that, typically Labour, the Greens or Lib Dems, but there are people on the right that are doing it as well.
“Conservative and UKIP voters are saying, if you want to support Brexit, vote here.”
Morley estimates that between 3,500 to 4,000 young people have “directly” registered to vote thanks to the site, with the tool linking to the Gov.uk website.
“It’s between 5-7% of our users,” he explained. “Because they are proactively thinking about their vote, they are more likely to go on to register.”
The success of the site comes just weeks after campaign group Hope Not Hate warned that students are the group most likely to be under-represented on June 8 because they are unsure whether they should register to vote at home or university.
Morley was inspired to create the tool after his sister, a student at Bristol University, asked him where she should vote.
“I built her a Google sheet that compared the chances of her party winning, and it turns out Bristol is a much better seat to vote in than our parents’ home constituency,” he said.
After the sheet was quickly shared among his sister’s friends, Morley and the tech team at his company, which is working with Bite The Ballot during the election campaign, went on to convert it into a website.
There are now plans for the NUS to send the tool to its members.
Bite The Ballot’s Josh Dell added: “The fact that students are able to register either at home or at university gives them an extraordinary amount of democratic power.
“Apps like GE2017 are just one of the many ways that the #TurnUp campaign is empowering young citizens to take part in the general election.”
For more information about how to register to vote, click here.