The Electoral Commission are making a lot of noise today about their partnership with Facebook ahead of the general election. On Thursday Facebook will push a notification onto the timelines of its 35 million active British users, telling them that they can register online to vote. Users will then be able to share with their friends that they have registered.
Additionally, the Electoral Commission will cough up for ad space on Facebook, encouraging young people to vote.
Facebook were heavily involved in the last US election and a similar project in which they encouraged US voters to go out and vote was hailed in the media as a great success after a study led by the University of California, San Diego estimated it increased voter turnout by 340,000. If Facebook could bring out that same proportion of extra voters here, by Techno Guido’s calculations they would increase voter turnout by 77,197 – which is almost exactly the size of the of electorate in the constituency of Tewkesbury.
A whole constituency worth of young voters. No wonder politicians are cosying up to them…