One of the universities I work for has put an inordinate amount of work into ensuring students register to vote in time for the June 7th deadline to take part in the EU referendum.
There have been emails, public meetings, articles on websites and pro-EU statements both online and on campus by the Vice-Chancellor and a local MP. Last week I received an email from the European Movement (harvested from the university website, where my email address is displayed) inviting me to a local rally. According to the TMS diary in the Times, at Oxford, Vice-Chancellor Louise Richardson has messaged all students encouraging them to vote, and a fellow has offered £500 each to the Oxford college with the highest voter turnout (surely that's illegal?). Nationally Eddie Izzard has led the Stand Up for Europe campaign, encouraging both student registration and a consequent Yes vote.
Earlier we saw the campaign group Hope Note Hate, with the sponsorship of Ben & Jerry's ice cream and the National Union of Teachers, pushing registration in Hackney and Lambeth, plus in other locations with considerable student or ethnic minority communities. We even saw the left wing version of dog whistle politics from Saatchi & Saatchi and Operation Black Vote, via their absurd poster, rooted in stereotypes that were dated in the 1980s, of a skinhead threatening a little old lady in a sari. Whilst for some reason sitting on a see-saw.
It is fascinating to see who has a vote that is coveted, nay chased in this referendum, and whose is not. I have not seen any voter registration drives aimed at socially isolated old age pensioners. Nor former industrial workers in the midlands and the north, or those living in deprived coastal towns such as Clacton, Great Yarmouth or Skegness.
The biggest mistake Vote Leave has made is that they have not run such a campaign. But if you want to know who counts to Remain, and Britain Stronger in Europe, and who does not - have a look at who they want to vote, and who they clearly do not.....