POWER to swing the result in Barrow and Furness, and even the general election could rest in the hands of newly registered voters.

An investigation carried out by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and The Times has found that this year, almost 1,200 new voters have registered in Barrow.

In previous elections the Labour Party enjoyed a majority in the thousands, but by 2015 only 795 votes separated the party from the Conservatives in second place.

With the crossing of a box these new voters have the power to ensure the town remains Labour, or vote in the area's first Conservative MP in 25 years.

The investigation identified 73 constituencies across the UK which could be decided by new voters.

The constituencies have been identified by a new election model that uses data from the Office of National Statistics, the Cabinet Office and the British Election Study.

The research estimates newly registered voters seat-by-seat and identifies where an estimated increase in voter registration is higher than the margin in the last election. There are 23 constituencies in the UK where just 75,600 newly registered voters have the power to hold or swing their seat.

Barrow, with its incredibly small margin was identified as one of the tightest races in the country. In 2017 there were 1,136 newly registered voters in the constituency.

Political commentators have said this election could be one of the closest in recent memory. Since the election was called the outcome of the vote today (8) has changed from the certainty of a Tory landslide, to the possibility of a hung parliament.

Over the past seven weeks there has been a huge drive to encourage people to vote.

Although the 66 per cent of the population that voted in 2015 was an increase compared to recent elections, it still did not match the most high point of 72 per cent seen in 1992.

Candidates running in Barrow have welcomed the news that voter registration is up in the area.

Labour's John Woodcock said: "The Tories called this election because they want a massive majority so they can impose more cuts, but these numbers show people won't be taken for granted and will stand up against this government.

"The numbers are even more impressive given Tory attempts to keep people off the register and deny people their democratic rights.

"People in Furness have a choice on Thursday between a hard working, independent Labour MP and a Tory nodding dog who won't fight for them."

Simon Fell, running for the Conservatives said: "It's great news that so many people are newly registered to vote. This really is a crucial election and there's so much hanging on the result, the security of the Trident programme and a stable Brexit being just two of them. "Decisions are made by those who turn up, I really hope that these registrations translate to an increase in turnout on polling day."

The Evening Mail contacted the candidates for the Liberal Democrats, The Green Party and UKIP but did not get a response.

Read more about the election here:

Former defence secretary John Hutton came to Barrow to campaign for Labour

Video: Watch Simon Fell answer Evening Mail readers' questions