Why don’t young people vote?

Just 44 per cent of British 18- to 24-year-olds voted in the 2015 General Election compared to 76 per cent of over-65s, according to the League of Young Voters, a grassroots campaign to get young people to register to vote which launched last year.

Meanwhile, according to pollsters Ipsos Mori, 18-24s were almost half as likely to vote as those aged 65 (43% vs 78%). In 2010, around 44 per cent of the younger age group turned out.

So what is being done to get the ‘young vote’ out?

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has introduced himself to the Grime scene by teaming up with rapper JME #Grime4Corbyn.

Last day to register…….Have your say #vote #generalelection #boybettervote Credits to Instagram: @hawaiij_ pic.twitter.com/YuXsAgX2Mp

— Leroy Roberts (@djleroyroberts) May 22, 2017

It inspired singer Rag ‘n’ Bone man to voice his support for the Labour leader, despite admitting he had never voted before.

Bauer Media’s online magazine The Debrief has teamed up with designer Clio Peppiatt to give away T-shirts as an incentive to get young people to register to vote.

 

— Clio Peppiatt (@ClioPeppiatt) May 13, 2017

Taxi-hailing app Uber has urged young people to get involved in the election with pop-up reminders to register to vote.  Leading up to the May 22 deadline, the app pointed users to the Government’s registration page.

Other initiatives to encourage registration included: 

·         Thorpe Park offering discounts for young people who registered to vote. Any 18-24 year olds had the opportunity to buy entrance tickets for £20 if they can prove they have registered to vote, which is less than half of the normal costs of £52.50 to buy a day ticket. 

·         London Mayor Sadiq Khan took to the streets to encourage the young to fill in their form. He met with people from the community and gave a speech before joining in with local campaigning in Hounslow town centre.

·         Snapchat users were encouraged to vote through the General Election through the use of Snapchat filters featuring a ballot box and, post-registration, users could choose to a filter featuring the line ‘I’ve voted’

We’ll see after June 8 how effective these steps have been in galvanising younger voters and getting them to the ballot box. But if we think back to the 2016 EU referendum, something like just 36 per cent of the 18-24 age group allegedly turned out to make their voices heard.

When the results came in, there was an outcry from many young people across the country that the decision, which will affect their futures so profoundly, went the ‘wrong’ way.

Surely, if something similar happens this time and the turn-out is low again, we’ve only ourselves to blame if the result leaves us disappointed.