General election 2017: Labour activist in Tinder voter registration drive

image copyrightTinder

A Labour activist is using dating app Tinder to encourage people to register to vote in the general election ahead of the midnight deadline.

Eligible voters have until 23:59 BST to register online through the official website for the 8 June election.

After matching with potential dates on the app, she has been sending them links to the registration site.

"A couple of people have been disappointed, but more have found it fun," said Yara Rodrigues Fowler, 24.

Tinder users upload some pictures of themselves to the app and add a short biography.

They then browse through other people's profiles, and can either swipe left or right.

If both parties swipe right, indicating mutual approval, a chat window opens up and the two can start chatting.

London-based Rodrigues Fowler has been matching with both men and women on the app to encourage them to vote.

She said: "Some have asked me how they should vote, and one has even asked me to be his proxy.

"Another didn't know whether his constituency was a marginal, so he sent me his postcode and I found out for him."

image copyrightYara Rodrigues Fowler

More than two million people have joined the register in the month since Prime Minister Theresa May revealed she was calling a snap election.

"I've been thinking a lot about how to reach young people and get them to register to vote. I was thinking, what notifications do people pay most attention to?," said Rodrigues Fowler.

"I get lots of matches with people (especially men) who I don't find attractive and are sometimes pretty gross, so I thought I'd put that energy to good use."

Rodrigues Fowler - a Labour voter - says not everyone on Tinder agrees with her politically, although it is hard to be sure of a stranger's tone on a dating app.

"I spoke to one man who said he was a Tory but I think he was just being provocative in a misguided attempt to flirt," she said.

The latest official figures published in March show that 45.7 million people were registered to vote in a general election as of 1 December 2016.

The Electoral Commission has warned that about seven million people across Britain who are eligible to vote are not registered.

Before the EU referendum last May, the Times reported that David Cameron was using Tinder to encourage people to back a Remain vote.

However, 10 Downing Street spokesperson told the BBC Mr Cameron "was holding meetings with various social media outlets to explore ways of encouraging more people to vote" - but was not on Tinder.