Youth Vote Key for General Election Vote 2015: According to new research, as many as three million have not decided how to vote in the upcoming general election. The study, on behalf of Demos, suggests that more than two fifths (44%) of individuals aged 18-25 have yet to make a decision in terms of which political party to back on May 7th.
The survey asked the views of more than 1000 young people, and suggested that the party which best attracts the young vote may find themselves in power in May – with the need to make more use of social media being a priority. The quantitative study was also combined with focus groups, in order to understand some of the factors which might make young people more likely or unlikely to vote.
The research found that more than three quarters (77%) of young people are intending to utilise their vote in the upcoming elections, although less than a third of women (30%) said they were interested compared to almost half (48%) of males in the same age bracket.
Among the key issues of concern for this demographic were the environment (45%), immigration (43%), tax avoidance (37%) and the future of Britain in relation to the European Union (34%).
Around a fifth (19%) said that celebrity endorsement would increase the likelihood that they would vote, whilst a similar figure (18%) said it would have the reverse effect.
Social class, gender and race impact views on voting differently, with more than half (56%) said they would be more open to voting if more MPs came from a working class background, if there were more women MPs (31%) or more MPs came from ethnic minorities (27%).
The report’s author concluded that there is an over-riding feeling among young people that politicians are white, elite males who had an expensive education. The report went on to predict that the politicians who connect best with young voters in the future will be working class, born and raised in the constituency they represent, and active and accessible on social media.
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