Why The 18-24 Vote Is Crucial For This General Election

01/06/2017 13:45 BST | Updated 01/06/2017 13:45 BST
ojogabonitoo via Getty Images

As a young voter, this next week is going to be one of the most important weeks of your life. Whether you're Labour, Conservative or not really sure which party represents your values and beliefs - if you are registered, it's vital that you go to your nearest polling station next Thursday (June 8th) and vote.

Voting is a democratic right which we should all be exercising. A mere 36% of 18-24 year olds actually bothered to take a short stroll to a polling station last year to cast their vote in the EU referendum. An outcome which is nothing short of shameful for the rest of us who actually give a damn about our future. Many of those who didn't turn up to vote are now kicking themselves at the thought of Britain leaving the European Union but they only have themselves to blame.

Hopefully, the harsh reality of Brexit is exactly what the young voter needs in order to take the future of their country seriously. Last week, The Telegraph published an article stating that just over one million 18-24 year olds have registered since Theresa May called the snap election she once so vehemently denied would occur.

A little bit of research goes an extremely long way with politics and if you still haven't the foggiest clue of what each party stands for then I absolutely, outrightly urge you to spend the next seven days doing some research. You don't have to understand the complex terminology or the ins and outs of every political party to establish exactly what you stand for and how you envision your future as a British citizen.

It's your future which will undeniably be affected by the outcome of this election, we've all been given a voice in the form of a ballot paper and if you don't get the outcome you wanted because you were too damn lazy to go out and vote, it's absolutely your own fault. We can't sit around and moan about how the older generations robbed us of a future if we, as young people, can't be bothered to get off Twitter for two minutes in order to mark an X in a box on a piece of paper. It's that simple.

Claiming that you don't know enough about politics just isn't an excuse. In the digital world we live in, educating yourself has never been so easy. In the time it's taken you to read this sentence, I've linked each of the main party manifestos here, here, here, here, here and here. Take a read and decide for yourself what kind of country you want to live in. What kind of country you want to bring your future children into. I really cannot stress just how important this one vote will be.

There are 16-17 year olds out there who are not legally old enough to vote but would love to exercise the democratic right most 18-24 year olds in the UK just can't be bothered to do. Every single vote counts.

Of course there's going to be many potential young voters who get put off by the lack of representation from any one party when it comes to their beliefs and values - if you are this person, please try and establish which party represents the majority of your beliefs. Try and focus on the party which can offer the best future for you. It's often hard to associate solely with one party when there could be certain policies you don't agree with but if the majority of their policies appeal to you - that's the party for you!

We have the power to sway this election but only if we turn up! You've got one week to figure out exactly which outcome you want to see from this general election - one week to decide who you want to have represent you in parliament.