THE number of  people who have registered to vote in Southampton  has gone up, latest figures have revealed.

Official figures show that  79,006 people in the Southampton Itchen constituency have registered to vote in next week’s general election.

That’s 7,284 more than in 2017 and 6,725 more than in 2015.

Figures have also increased in the Southampton Test constituency where this year 79,509 have applied to vote on December 12. This is 9,310 more than in 2017 and 9,239 more than in 2015.

It comes as last week it was announced that there has been a total of 2.8m applications in the UK to register to vote since the election was called.

Over the past weeks residents in the city have been encouraged to register to vote by November 26.

More than 158,000 people are now expected to head to the polls in the city this Thursday to elect a new Parliament in what will be the third national vote in five years. This year there will be 95 polling stations across the city open from 7am to 10pm.

Experts say turnout is difficult to predict as there are several factors that impact people’s desire to vote.

The turnout in Southampton Test was  67% in 2017, up from the 62% in 2015 while in Southampton Itchen the turnout in 2017 was 65%, up from 62% in 2015. 

Some may think the turnout will be high again next week given that this has been described as the Brexit election.

But others suggested that the numbers could drop this year as people will have to cast their ballot when the nights come earlier and the weather is colder.

Southampton has been under the spotlight over the past weeks as Southampton Itchen is one of the places where the election could be won or lost.

It comes as in 2017 Conservative Royston Smith won by only 31 votes, beating Labour candidate Simon Letts. The two are standing again in the same constituency this time around.

Itchen has also attracted Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn over the past week. 

Their visit stresses the important part the constituency is playing in next week’s election.

Many are the promises that candidates have been made to constituents in Southampton including better NHS services and infrastructure, more police officers across the city and measures to tackle pollution.

But while candidates will continue to canvass over the coming days, it will be down to the residents to decide who to send to Westminster.