Last-minute voter registration surges to record levels

Some 469,047 applications were made online and just under 16,000 on paper Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Nearly half a million people registered to vote yesterday in an unprecedented rush to beat the midnight deadline.

469,047 digital applications were made in the 24 hours preceding the deadline, as well as just under 16,000 on paper, according to Cabinet Office figures, making it the busiest single day for registrations since the introduction of the new online system.

There was good news for those eager to boost youth participation in the election too. The biggest age group was 25-34, with 152,000 registrations, followed by the 16-24 bracket, which saw 137,000. 89,000 35-44-year-olds also applied.

Alex Robertson, a spokesperson for the Electoral Commission, said it was "absolutely fantastic" that more than two million people had applied to register to vote over the last few weeks.

He added: "On the day of the deadline we saw almost half a million people apply to register in just one day, the busiest day since the introduction of the new online system."

These final-day figures are nearly as many as the total number of people who registered in the weeks before the 2010 general election.