This image claiming there are four million 17 year-olds who’ll be able to vote in the election is not about the UK

30 October 2019
What was claimed

There are four million 17 year-olds that turn 18 before the November election.

Our verdict

Incorrect—there are only around 725,000 17 year-olds in the UK. The general election is set to be on 12 December.

We’ve seen a Facebook post making claims about the number of 17 year-olds who’ll turn 18 before the general election.

“Did you know that 4 MILLION 17-year-olds turn 18 before the November election?

If you are 17 ½ you can register to vote NOW.”

Facebook user, 27 October 2019

This is incorrect. There are an estimated 725,000 17 year-olds in the UK. Also the election is all but certain to be on 12 December, not in November as the post claims.

We don’t know exactly how many of these people will turn 18 before election day. You can register to vote in the UK if you are over 16 (or over 14 in Scotland), but you have to be 18 or over on polling day to be able to vote (assuming you are British, Irish or a qualifying Commonwealth citizen and are resident at an address in the UK).

These claims seem to originate from the US, as there were around four million births eighteen years ago in 2001. US federal elections are also held in early November.

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