As the country prepares to go the polls for Theresa May’s snap election on 8 June, the rise in young people registering to vote is staggering.
In the first five days after 18 April, when the prime minister announced the 2017 general election, 100,000 youngsters registered to vote
In the UK, people between 18-24 make up 10% of the population. However, during the last election only 44% of this cohort were registered to vote, compared to 94% of the over 65s.
According to the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, this is why government policies favour pensioners. Commenting on election campaigns back in 2015, he explained that “if you’ve got a candidate with an hour to spare and a choice to go to an old people’s home or a sixth-form college, 99% of campaign managers will say you’ve got to go the old people’s home. That’s because 94% of them are on the register and 77% of them will vote. That is not true to the younger generation.”
But is this about to change? Could changes in the electorate lead to a change of government? A recent poll taken on social media in order to gauge the opinion of younger potential voters, suggested the next government would be red rather than blue.
One thing is certain, campaign managers would be ill advised to take the passivity of young people for granted.
Vote photo by Theresa Thompson used under Creative Commons license.