YOUNG VOICES

Jeremy Corbyn’s Shock General Election Success Driven By High Young Voter Turn-Out

And imagine if 16 & 17 year olds could vote.

20/06/2017 12:19 | Updated 20 June 2017

Jeremy Corbyn’s shock General Election success was partly driven by an earthquake of young people turning out to vote, a new poll by Ipsos MORI has revealed. 

Almost two-thirds (64%) of registered 18-24 year olds cast their vote on polling day - the highest figure for 25 years, when 67% of young people voted in the 1992 election. 

This high turn-out among the under 25s undoubtedly helped Labour halt the much-predicted Tory landslide, with age heralded as “the new dividing line in British politics”.

A whopping 62% of young voters voted for Corbyn and his party, with a 35% lean towards Labour among this age group compared to a 36 point tilt for the Tories among the over 65s. 

This 71 point gap between the age groups represents the biggest divide in an election since Ipsos MORI began its estimates in 1979. 

There was also a 13 point swing towards Labour among 25-34 year olds, the biggest swing of the election. 

Despite predictions that Theresa May would win a majority of more than 50 seats, Labour took 41% of all votes cast. 

Many have speculated that the party’s youth-focused campaign could have helped motivate many young people to vote for the first time, with turn-out among the group increasing by 21% since 2015. 

Not only did Corbyn vow to to scrap tuition fees if elected, but the Labour leader hinted he would also wipe tuition fee debt for thousands of graduates

The surprising increase in youth turnout - up from just 43% in 2015 - has led to renewed calls for the voting age to be lowered to 16. 

AFP
Almost two-thirds of under 25s voted for the Labour Party 

Former Labour cabinet minister Lord Adonis is leading the charge, tabling a private member’s bill on the issue with MP Peter Kyle. 

Speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme this morning,  Adonis said there was “a very positive feeling out there” about 16 and 17 year olds being allowed to vote in General Elections, with Scottish teens already allowed to take part in referendums. 

As well as lowering the voting age, the former MP called for automatic voter registration for 16-21 year olds and a polling station at every school, college or university. 

“Learning to vote and taking part in politics is part of what it means to become an adult and I think it’s very important that we start that in secondary school,” Adonis said. 

“At 16, young people can start engaging in work, they can pay tax, they can join the army, they can do all these things.

“The least we should be offering them is the chance to vote as a member of their society.” 

When asked if he was just supportive of the plan as it would likely benefit Labour, he responded: “Anyone concerned about democracy should want to see the young engaged.”

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