Young first-time voters to shun 2015 general election, says poll

Are you voting in next year's general election?

Are you voting in next year's general election?

First published in News Malvern Gazette: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

YOUNG people are going to shun the ballot box in next year's general election because of a growing disillusionment over politics, according to a new survey.

Despite two million teenagers being eligible to vote in 2015 for the first time ever, a poll found many 17-21 year-olds do not believe politicians have a grip on the issues that are most important to them.

The findings have been backed by young people in Worcester, who say too much political debate is based around chasing pensioner's votes.

The survey also shows how Labour comes out on top with future voters nationally, but there is little enthusiasm for the Liberal Democrats, especially after party leader Nick Clegg's u-turn on tuition fees.

Mr Clegg has less backing to run the country among the group than comedian Russell Brand and controversial television presenter Jeremy Clarkson.

Just over 1,000 people aged 17-21 were surveyed and 41 per cent of them said they definitely intend to vote.

Next year Worcester MP Robin Walker will defend a majority of just 2,982 against Labour's city parliamentary candidate Councillor Joy Squires.

He said: "There's no easy answer to this, the only real solution is to keep talking to young people."

Brian Cox, 20, of Southall Avenue, Northwick, who is studying geography at the University of the West of England, said: "People my age are rarely into politics because they don't think it will make a difference.

"If you ask people not at university I reckon it will be especially low. It's not good.

"Schools could help by using class time to talk about politics. Unless you study it at college you hear nothing. We need less focus on pensioners too."

Sarah Gregory, 19, of Hallow Road, Worcester, who is heading to Bath University in September to study politics, said: "You can't blame politicians in my opinion.

"Young people have got to want to get involved. There are a lot of people my age who are interested, but most are not."

Of those taking part in the YouGov survey 40 per cent say they will choose Labour, 25 per cent will go for the Conservatives, while 12 per cent will pick UKIP and nine per cent the Green party.

Five per cent per cent say they will back the Liberal Democrats.

Sunder Katwala, director of campaign body British Future, said: "First-time voters may pay a high price if they sit out the election rather than using their power to get heard.

"If the 2015 election is as close-run as everyone thinks, just half of the missing two million first time voters could decide the result - if they turn up."

Comments (3)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:56pm Wed 7 May 14

denon says...

It always was the case.
It always was the case. denon
  • Score: 3

1:24pm Wed 7 May 14

Hwicce says...

I don't know about young people but as an old person I'm disillusioned over politics.
I don't know about young people but as an old person I'm disillusioned over politics. Hwicce
  • Score: 2

2:14pm Wed 7 May 14

MJI says...

My daughter wants to vote but she is not 18 until the summer
My daughter wants to vote but she is not 18 until the summer MJI
  • Score: 0

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