Labour Party politicians and pro-democracy groups celebrated Wednesday as more than 100,000 people reportedly registered to vote in a 48-hour period this week amid mounting chaos in the U.K. government in anticipation of a possible general election in October.
On Monday, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced harsh criticism within his own party, about 52,000 people registered, followed by more than 64,000 on the following day.
Nearly 60 percent of the newly-registered voters are under the age of 35, giving hope to the Labour Party that the surge in registrations is closely linked to widespread outrage over Johnson's push for the U.K. to leave the European Union by the end of October, with or without a deal.
"No-deal Brexiteers' greatest fears are new voters and young voters," tweeted actor Rob Delaney, who lives in the U.K. and is a vocal critic of the Tory Party and Brexit.
As Common Dreams reported, Johnson is rapidly losing the confidence of lawmakers following a 329-300 vote in Parliament on Wednesday rejecting his no-deal Brexit plan. On Thursday, his brother Jo Johnson announced his resignation, saying the prime minister's singular focus on pulling the U.K. out of the E.U. with no regard for how it would impact the country's economy had caused an "unresolvable tension" between family and politics.
Conservative MP Philip Lee also defected on Tuesday, joining the Liberal Democrats in the House of Commons as the prime minister was speaking and leaving Johnson with a minority. According to polling, a majority of British voters oppose a no-deal Brexit.
Experts on voter turnout say the surge in registrations could be partially linked to students who are registering in new locations as they begin school, but the high numbers reported on Monday and Tuesday—compared with the average daily registration of 27,000 in recent weeks—gave hope to the critics of Johnson's plan and leadership.
"This is incredible," tweeted Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, urging Brits to vote in the potential general election that could follow the defeat of a no-deal Brexit.
This is incredible.
When we've stopped No Deal we need a General Election. So make sure you can actually vote in it.
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) September 5, 2019
100,000 people have registered to vote. This is what democracy looks like!https://t.co/OUUYdgd8RO
— Cat Smith (@CatSmithMP) September 5, 2019
Someone's getting ready for a UK election..
More than 100,000 have applied to register to vote in the past 48 hours pic.twitter.com/6ZJ2xQoSgV
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— Ben Quinn (@BenQuinn75) September 4, 2019
A general election could come on October 15, and the surge in registrations comes weeks ahead of the September 27 deadline.
Meanwhile, the #StopTheCoup movement, whose petition to keep Parliament from being suspended has gathered 1.7 million signatures since it was released on August 15, has far exceeded the threshold needed for Parliament to debate the petition. Lawmakers will discuss the demands on Monday.
Dozens of #StopTheCoup demonstrations are planned in cities and towns across the country in the coming days, including at least 17 on Thursday. More than three dozen events are planned for Saturday, including protests in Germany, France, and the Netherlands as well as in Britain.
Hoots of support from passing traffic on A650 here near Wakefield as #Yorkshire protests no deal and #DefendDemocracy. Our #failure prime minister will see he does not have mass support in the #North @LeedsEurope @yorkshireeurope pic.twitter.com/QdMbZaEgC8
— Gillian Holding (@gillianholding) September 5, 2019
BERLINERS! Come join us to defend British democracy with #StopTheCoup Berlin at 12 noon at Pariser Platz.
— RoseNewell (@RoseWroteThis) September 5, 2019
A national "Let Us Be Heard" demonstration will take place October 19 in London, supported by the People's Vote and calling on Johnson to secure a Brexit deal that British voters will then approve or reject.
"The march will offer a chance for voters to force their way back into a decision on Brexit," a video released by The Independent said.
— The Independent (@Independent) September 5, 2019
"This Brexit crisis has now come down to a simple question about whether we live in a democracy: can we allow Boris Johnson to force No Deal—or another vicious form of Brexit—on our country, without all of us having our voice heard?" reads the People's Vote website.
"The only way to break the deadlock in Parliament, legitimize the outcome, and allow us all to talk about something else, is to give the people the final say," the group says.