People asking Google who to vote for

A Google search box with the question Who should I vote for?

Image caption

There has been an increase in searches for voting advice

Voters have been turning to Google for help in deciding who to back in the general election.

Data released to BBC News reveals the areas of the UK where “who should I vote for” was the most popular request.

There has also been a rise in searches for “register to vote” ahead of Monday’s deadline.

Politics expert Professor Colin Copus said people were researching their options.

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The data reveals “who should I vote for” was more popular in Willesborough in Kent than anywhere else between 9 May and Tuesday.

The area comes under the Ashford constituency, which was last won by the Conservatives in 2015.

Second on the list is Chorley in Lancashire, which was last won by Labour.

Professor Copus, director of politics and public policy at De Montfort University, said: “Behind the glib question is some serious thought from voters going in to the general election.

“It indicates that there will be large numbers of people across the country taking this very seriously and searching for different sources of information to help them make their choice.

“It is not going to be people just asking to be told who to vote for on the basis of a lifestyle quiz.”

How Google Trends works

Google Trends combined variations of “who should I vote for”, including “who should I vote for UK”, “who should I vote for 2017” and “general election who should I vote for”.

It did not disclose raw numbers of searches, instead ranking the areas from where they originated.

It assigned each of the 1,707 areas a number from 1 to 100, with 100 being where “who should I vote for” made up the largest share of all searches from that town.

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The biggest interest in registering to vote came from Cornwall. Pendeen in St Ives topped the list, followed by Ponsanooth in Camborne and Redruth.

St Ives changes hands at the 2015 general election from the Liberal Democrats to the Conservatives.

People have until Monday, 22 May to register to vote.

The number of people searching has risen in the past week, but interest over the past month was highest on 18 April, the day the prime minister said she was seeking a general election.

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