Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Dozens of #StopTheCoup demonstrations have taken place in recent days in the U.K. and more are planned amid chaos in the (Photo: Steve Eason/Flickr/cc)

'This Is Incredible,' Says Corbyn, as Voter Registration Surges Amid Boris Johnson's Chaotic Lurch Towards UK General Election

"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 on our country, without all of us having our voice heard?"

Julia Conley

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.

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.

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.

"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.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Biden Urged to Fire Covid Response Chief Over 'Damning' Failures

"Zients has failed to provide the materials necessary to improve the U.S. response, or the guidance necessary to keep the pandemic under control," argued one critic.

Jake Johnson ·


As Sinema Defends Filibuster, Progressives Say 'Vote Her the Hell Out'

"The filibuster is a meaningless Senate rule. It's a remnant of slavery used to block civil rights for generations."

Jake Johnson ·


Poor People's Campaign Readies 'Massive, Nonviolent' Effort to Save Democracy

"We are not in this for a moment, but for a movement," said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II. "Our deadline is victory."

Jake Johnson ·


Tsunami Triggered by Huge Volcanic Eruption Hits Tonga

The undersea volcano's eruption also sparked tsunami warnings for Fiji, Samoa, New Zealand, and the West Coast of the United States.

Common Dreams staff ·


Sanders Says Manchin and Sinema Are Imperiling US Democracy

"It is a sad day when two members of the Democratic Caucus are prepared to allow the Freedom to Vote Act to fail and undermine the future of American democracy."

Jake Johnson ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo