FIGURES estimate there are close to 6,000 newly registered voters in Colchester, more than any other marginal constituency in the country.

The data, produced by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, estimates 5,823 more people will be eligible to participate in Thursday’s poll than back in June 2015.

Last time around, Conservative Will Quince had a majority of 5,575 over Lib Dem Sir Bob Russell, suggesting the new votes could have a significant impact upon the outcome.

The bureau has identified the seat as one of the top 50 key marginals in the country because the number of new voters is more than the 2015 majority.

Paul Whiteley, professor of Government at Essex University, said: “The student union here has been running a registration campaign with the university and obviously it looks like that has turned out to be successful.

“Since we know in the past students have been much more likely to vote Labour or Lib Dem it may be worrying for the Conservatives.”

A Yougov poll conducted in April, put Labour 19 points ahead of the Conservatives among 18 to 24-year-olds, however, in 2015 just 43 per cent of those in this age group voted, compared with 78 per cent of people aged 65 and over.

There is no Ukip candidate standing in Colchester this time around, with Mr Whiteley saying he expects Mr Quince to pick up the majority of 2015’s Ukip candidate John Pitts’ 5,870 votes.

He said: “We have been doing some surveys and it looks like about four times as many ex Ukip voters are going to vote Conservatives rather than Labour so it is quite clear they have an advantage in that respect.

“But some Ukip voters are fed up with politics. The party has had a terrible time since the referendum. They have lost their charismatic leader and with the UK leaving the EU it is has lost its main campaigning issue. To make matter worse they have been fighting each other and did badly in the local elections.

“It will mean some will go back to the Conservatives but it might mean some of them are fed up and do not even vote.”

Mr Whiteley said all these factors combined with the national polling swing towards Labour from the Conservatives in recent weeks was pointing towards a close race in Colchester.

He said: “I believe the Conservatives are still the ones to beat in Colchester but the big margin, where it was pretty much an assured victory two months ago, is now in question.

“I think the news of the number of registrations, particularly if it does reflect young voters, is not good news for the Conservatives.”

Colchester’s General Election candidates are: Will Quince (Con), Tim Young (Lab), Sir Bob Russell (Lib Dem), Mark Goacher (Green) and Robin Rennie (Christian People’s Alliance).