BBC BLOGS - The Editors
« Previous | Main | Next »

Radio 1 first-time voters poll

Post categories:

Rod McKenzie Rod McKenzie | 00:01 UK time, Friday, 16 April 2010

We've just had the results [1.04Mb] of our opinion poll of first-time voters - and I promised I would blog about them.

Radio 1They make interesting reading and illustrate some generational and demographical differences among young adults.

I blogged about apathy before - so let's start there.

Just one in three first-time voters told our pollsters that they will definitely vote on 6 May - far lower than the figure for the general population which hovers around 65%.

That's about the same level as in the previous election, but a drop from our 2001 figure of around 40%. So why's that?

Disinterest in politics tops the list of reasons: simply "not wanting to" and feeling that their decision won't make a difference. Women are less likely to vote than men.

Money and jobs are the key election issues for young voters - perhaps no surprise there.
There are some interesting demographic findings, too.

David Cameron appears to be winning over young working-class voters - while first-time voters in wealthier social groups are more likely to favour Gordon Brown.

That suggests the reverse of demographic trends in other polls among the general voting population. Nick Clegg comes third among both groups; again, his support tilts towards the middle classes.

Almost a quarter of first-time voters are more interested in the smaller parties than they were 12 months ago. Of those, 48% say they are taking more notice of Green Party ideas; another quarter say the same for the BNP and one in five say they are interested in UKIP.

Here again, there is an apparent trend by social group. First-time voters in a middle-class bracket (57%) are significantly more likely to be interested in the Greens. Working-class first-time voters are more interested in the BNP's policies (52%).

In case you were wondering, this is not a "voting intention poll" as they're called in the trade: the BBC doesn't do that sort of polling.

The findings are pretty much in line with our audience tracking data over time. Disillusionment with politicians in the wake of the expenses scandal is nothing new among all our audiences - but for younger voters, many of whom start with a natural disconnect from Westminster, it can't have helped engagement.

Comres interviewed 1,000 first-time voters (aged 18-23) on fixed line and mobile phones in England, Wales and Scotland from 6-10 April. Data was weighted to be demographically representative of all 18-23 year-olds.

Rod McKenzie is editor of Newsbeat and 1Xtra News.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    'In case you were wondering, this is not a "voting intention poll" as they're called in the trade: the BBC doesn't do that sort of polling.'

    Would love to hear the justification for that.

  • Comment number 3.

    So what?

    So less young people will vote, is that necessarily a bad thing?

    I don't think so personally. Most younger people have neither the life experience to understand the issues being discussed nor the knowledge to understand all sides of the arguments. They are less likely (and yes there are many exceptions) to be able to make an informed choice than older voters.

    I am 30 now, I have voted twice before in General Elections, I look back now with my current level of maturity and understanding and realise just how little I knew on each of the previous occasions, That I made the same choice back then that I will make this time now appears to be far more by luck than judgement to me and speaking to others of my age they all feel the same way.

    We would be far better off without the legion who vote on single issues, because dad voted that way, because they think the leader looks nicer or as a protest vote and unfortunately the majority of younger people would fall by default into one of these categories if they were forced to cast a vote right now.

    Just a final note, I am not criticising youngsters here, like I pointed out I was one recently (would like to think I still am but the man in the mirror says otherwise) and know as well as anyone that we had other more pressing priorities in our lives, university, finding a job, buying a first home, trying to find a partner in life and a host of others. Making time to properly understand politics was not a high priority and nor perhaps should it be.

    I just wish that people would be honest enough to admit if they do not understand the issues properly and if they can't make a fully informed choice then abstain and allow those who do make a better one.

  • Comment number 4.

    I think you mean young people are uninterested, not disinterested.

  • Comment number 5.

    Interesting stats on younger voters looking at the smaller parties - sadly these parties I feel still don't get enough media coverage to form anything resembling a credible threat.

    Even more interesting that the younger working class are favouring Cameron - how bizarre! The BNP stats are scary - guess in such tough times radical nationalism does get popular, but still - it's scary!

    Oli (Political cartoon blogger)

  • Comment number 6.

    Younger working class are favouring Cameron - how bizarre!
    ---------
    Why is it bizarre?

    Lots of young people feel that Labour have failed them via the introduction of student fees, preventing them gettign a qualified education or at least making ti more difficult to do so. Others feel that the lack of an effctive immigration policy and the loss of jobs under Labour are hindering their chances of making a start in life. Others will point to high property prices stopping them gettign on the housing ladder.

    I don't blame Labour for all of this, but it's easy to see how young people who have taken the brunt of much of the worst financial issues over the past decade would be disollusioned with the current government. Again though I point to the inexperience of these voters.

  • Comment number 7.

    The reason young people aren't interested in voting is the exact same reason why their parents and grandparents won't bother.

    75% of decisions are made in Brussles and, following the Treaty, this is rising.

    Westminster is a parish council virtually devoid of powers - a complete sham and not worth our time, unless of course you want to vote UKIP and get us out.

  • Comment number 8.

    The reason young people aren't interested in voting is the exact same reason why their parents and grandparents won't bother.

    75% of decisions are made in Brussles and, following the Treaty, this is rising.

    Westminster is a parish council virtually devoid of powers - a complete sham and not worth our time, unless of course you want to vote UKIP and get us out.
    ----------
    Sorry chip this is drivvle.

    1. Their parents and grandparents consistently vote in far higher numbers so the comparison is plainly wrong.

    2. In reality less than 10% of decisions are made in brussels and most of them are fairly unimportant in the grand scheme of things, we have right of veto on anything important (other than employment law).

  • Comment number 9.

    #7. At 09:07am on 19 Apr 2010, chiptheduck wrote:

    "The reason young people aren't interested in voting is the exact same reason why their parents and grandparents won't bother.

    75% of decisions are made in Brussles and, following the Treaty, this is rising."


    If that was the case then don't you think that they would be making a point of voting UKIP, BNP or SLP (all state that they wish to haul the UK out of the EU), there are only two reasons not to vote, satisfaction (that the often quoted 75% figure is correct and that they are happy with an ever closer political union within Europe) or total disinterest in politics generally.

  • Comment number 10.

    "I don't think so personally. Most younger people have neither the life experience to understand the issues being discussed nor the knowledge to understand all sides of the arguments. They are less likely (and yes there are many exceptions) to be able to make an informed choice than older voters."

    Tee Hee, nice to sweeping generalisations from the supposedly informed.

    I don't think it's possible to make a good decision when they lie (ok, "bend" the truth), gloss up figures and otherwise insult the rival. So I'm voting the for best hair cut.

  • Comment number 11.

    It is not surprising that working class kids favour the Conservatives. What we as the youth of today want is not patronizing giveaways from Labour or the Lib Dems, but a stronger economy so that jobs in the private sector are created so that we know that when we leave education we have jobs to enter. Labour and the Lib Dems are in a dream world if they think that cutting the deficit immediately is not the most important thing. The Conservatives recognise that its not brutal to cut the deficit, but a tough decision that has to be made to help the economy in the long-term. Cameron may be posh, but he has a genuine human interest in people of all ages that Brown and Clegg appear to not have.

  • Comment number 12.

    Tee Hee, nice to sweeping generalisations from the supposedly informed.
    -------

    As I stated in your quote, there are many exceptions but in general I think a lot of all voters do not know enough to make the choice, younger voters have even less chance.

  • Comment number 13.

    What percentage of your first time voters watched the first TV debate? When you know your vote will be wasted, that it seems that nothing much is going to change, it's not a surprise that younger voters aren't going to bother. We don't need compulsory voting, we need a better voting system.
    One of the reasons our electoral system is rotten is that we are forced to ignore the qualities of the individual candidates and focus on voting for the party. It is not that we have forgotten the Expenses Scandal, It is just that the Electoral system doesn't allow us any freedom to do anything about it.
    When you vote for a constituency representative on the basis of party label alone, you will get some lazy, incompetent, even corrupt MPs.
    You also get MPs who hesitate to vote except in accordance with the wishes of the party whip.

    Whatever Government we get from this unpredictable election must tackle electoral and parliamentary reform. We need an electoral system where MPs are elected on their own merits and thus can be more independent minded.
    We need an electoral system where everybody can vote for the party of their choice and know that their vote will not be wasted.
    We need a system which would allow voters to vote directly both for the best party and for the best constituency representative – Direct Party and Representative voting.

  • Comment number 14.

    #11. At 2:29pm on 19 Apr 2010, James wrote:

    "It is not surprising that working class kids favour the Conservatives. What we as the youth of today want is not patronizing giveaways from Labour or the Lib Dems, but a stronger economy so that jobs in the private sector are created so that we know that when we leave education we have jobs to enter...//.."

    Hmm, sorry but the above reads like hustings slogan airing, the only other explanation would be a privileged childhood (or both...), why do I say that, because even for the oldest "First Time voter" would have been only 10 years old when the Tories were last in power, very unlikely to know much of a government other than Labour - they know nothing other than "patronizing giveaways", it's the norm for them, why would they not want what they see as the norm? Also, remember that it wasn't the first time voter who ousted the last Tory government, it was people who remembered that other parties could be in government.

    Oh and before someone suggests otherwise, I would have said the same had the parties been reversed.

  • Comment number 15.

    13. At 4:01pm on 19 Apr 2010, jaystar wrote:

    "What percentage of your first time voters watched the first TV debate? When you know your vote will be wasted, that it seems that nothing much is going to change, it's not a surprise that younger voters aren't going to bother. We don't need compulsory voting, we need a better voting system."

    If that is the reason for the traditional lack of interest from the young then woundn't there be evidance to suggest that they would be plaining to vote either Labour or Libdem, both of which are promising voting reform - AV and PR respectivly. I suspect that the real problemm is that far to many are simple just not interested in poltics per se, as them to cast their votes on (for example) either the X-Factor or Big Brother (both of which are simple majority voting systems) and there is no shortage of takers!

  • Comment number 16.

    15#
    If they have lost interest and circumstances changed, eg a new electoral system, they might find new interest.
    If they plan to vote for Labour for AV or Libdem for PR it seems to me they haven't entirely lost interest.

  • Comment number 17.

    If that is the reason for the traditional lack of interest from the young then woundn't there be evidance to suggest that they would be plaining to vote either Labour or Libdem, both of which are promising voting reform - AV and PR
    -------------

    Neither of those systems solves the biggest problem in our voting system which is being forced to vote for our MP and PM at the same time!

    I may wish Labour to run the country, I may also believe that the Plaid Cymru candidate will bet serve my constituency as an MP, so who do I vote for? Until we split this (one of the few advantages of the American political system) then any vote I may will be a compromise.

  • Comment number 18.

    17. At 09:01am on 20 Apr 2010, hackerjack wrote:

    "Neither of those [AV or PR voting] systems solves the biggest problem in our voting system which is being forced to vote for our MP and PM at the same time!"

    We do not have a 'presidential' system of government in the UK, we have never voted for the "PM", the PM is simply the leader of the majority party [1], so unless you are suggesting a completely new system of government and not just the voting system...

    [1] it's even possible for a party leader, going into the election, to loose his or her own seat even though the party becomes the majority party, requiring a new parliamentary leader to be elected by the party and thus become the PM.

    Sorry to say but I suspect that the real problem (of low voter turn-out) is ignorance of both the electoral and parliamentary system, and not just amongst the young. Not sure what can be done, at one time, when the UK only had two and half television channels and four national radio stations the broadcasters could be fairly certain that political genre programming was likely to be watched or listened to [2], if Radio 1 was to put on such a programme it's far to easy for the disinterested/ignorant to retune, what is more Radio 1 might never actually get those listeners back again either.

    [2] 40 years ago people even chose to watch party election broadcasts!

  • Comment number 19.

    I see the same injustice more clearly now in my forties than I did at 17 but it did not stop me understanding politics in my teens.
    I walked straight into an industrial dispute at my first place of work at the age of 17. Each year I saw my conditions and rights eroded by the Tories. I am proud that I supported my union, marched for the miners, against the poll tax, the Criminal Justice Bill and more recently Iraq. Even if you don’t vote you can still take part in the democratic process by organising in your workplace and supporting a union if you have one.

  • Comment number 20.

    Alot of younger people are too pre-occupied with fronting apathy to take any of the policies into consideration. this usually leads to them just voting for who their parents vote for or not at all. i tried a website called myvoteadvisor, which asks questions and policies then matches them to the relavent parties and gives you a score based on the percentage of policies that match. completely changed my perspective on who to vote for!

  • Comment number 21.

    #3 "I just wish that people would be honest enough to admit if they do not understand the issues properly and if they can't make a fully informed choice then abstain and allow those who do make a better one."

    You could always lead the way, hackerjack. Instead of loftily glaring down at 22-year-olds from the immeasurably superior age of 30 ("I look back now with my current level of maturity"? Excuse this fifty-something while he chokes with laughter), you could say "Really, I still know jack **** about anything, so I'm going to pull out of voting this time round, and leave the decision-making to people with grandchildren".

    Not gonna happen, though, is it? Because, oddly enough, we all tend to the view that those who are younger than us have a lot to learn, and those who are older than us are increasingly out of touch with what's going on in today's fast-moving world. So only *we* are exactly the right age to fully understand what's going on. This delusion is almost universal.

    Up to a point, you're right. First-time voters will mostly be clueless. But why it should be less desirable for them to turn out on election day than the swing voters who troop into the polls focused on tiny clauses of self-interest like the Tories' £150 marriage incentive, I really don't follow. Our next government chosen on the basis of paltry but carefully targeted bribes? Oh yes, that's much more grown-up...

    I would prefer to see compulsory voting, and if this forces all parties to concentrate their energies on educating young voters, good – about time they did that, rather than ploughing everything into sucking up to middle-income late-30s couples with two school-age kids. But there's no point in doing that before overhauling the whole voting system. At least that's something that this election is bringing into sharp relief. With the tools right here on the BBC, it has never been easier to input figures and play around to see what effect (or lack of it) voting swings might have.

    Many people will have plugged in the numbers from that freak weekend poll that had the Lib/Dems top on 31% and seen that, even if reflected on polling day, this would leave them dozens and dozens of seats behind the Tories and even further behind Labour who, despite being in third place in the voting, would still hold the largest number of seats by a fair margin. Perhaps, like me, some have played with the figures and discovered that the Liberals would need to get to something like 38% just to (barely) become the largest party – a percentage that would give either of the other parties a comfortable overall majority.

    Granted that, the surprise isn't that 'only' one-third of young adults feel pretty sure that they'll be voting – it's that as many as two-thirds of the rest of us bother.

  • Comment number 22.

    We do not have a 'presidential' system of government in the UK, we have never voted for the "PM", the PM is simply the leader of the majority party [1], so unless you are suggesting a completely new system of government and not just the voting system...
    -------------
    That's exactly what I'm suggesting.

    I appreciate we don't vote directly for the leader, or even technically the ruling party but that is what happens and that is the major influence over how people vote. Few people even knkw who their candidates are.

    Why are we voting for two things at once? I would much sooner vote for my MP once, then vote again for who will be PM. While we are at it, let him pick whoever he wants for the cabinet, don't restrict ourself to the subset opf people who had the right skills to get elected, they are almost certainly not the right people for those roles.

  • Comment number 23.

    You could always lead the way, hackerjack. Instead of loftily glaring down at 22-year-olds from the immeasurably superior age of 30 ("I look back now with my current level of maturity"? Excuse this fifty-something while he chokes with laughter), you could say "Really, I still know jack **** about anything, so I'm going to pull out of voting this time round, and leave the decision-making to people with grandchildren".
    -------------------
    Sorry but you've misrepresented me here, I did not mean that I am perfect now, there is much that I still do not know of course and that will always be the case. My point was that I can see a huge difference in my level of understanding now to 5 and 10 years ago. "My current level of maturity" is exactly that, a current level, not a complete level.

    I do not view those older than me as out of touch as you seem to think, I view them mostly with respect and acknowledge that they have more experience and know more than I do.

    I also acknowledged the issue of one-issue voters, but I guess you had stopped reading or at least paying attention by that point as you had made your mind up about me already.


    Compulsary voting would be a ridiculous and dangerous idea, like I said, leave voting to those who understand the issues and care about the results or you might as well start picking MP's names out of a hat.

  • Comment number 24.

    To hackerjack #23 or anyone,

    What's your speculation about how "level of understanding", perception, political sensitivity or views, varies with age?

  • Comment number 25.

    The BNP stats are scary - guess in such tough times radical nationalism does get popular, but still - it's scary!
    **

    Why do you find it scary, they are the only party that have come out & said they will put British people first when it comes to Britain - ie - no more open floodgates for immigrants until there is no british person living on the streets or out of work & that's the way it should be!

  • Comment number 26.

    25. At 1:53pm on 21 Apr 2010, bestoftherest wrote:

    "Why do you find it scary, they [the BNP] are the only party that have come out & said they will put British people first when it comes to Britain - ie - no more open floodgates for immigrants until there is no british person living on the streets or out of work & that's the way it should be!"

    OK, I'll bite...

    But that is not the only thing they 'say', might I suggest that you scratch below the surface of their headline grabbing policy, to the rest of their 'manifesto' (it might involve learning something about the sectors that would be affected to understand what is really being proposed), their policy on immigration and migration, serious as they are, is not even the half if it.

    Getting back to the issues you raised; I also hope that you will offer to help fill the gap left in the employment market when all the immigrants and migrants are deported, around my part of the UK (a mix of Seasonal Tourism, light manufacturing/engineering and labour intensive farming/food processing) most of the immigrant/migrant workforce are employed in the agriculture and food processing sectors simply because the young and unskilled refuse to do such menial, hard, manual, labour-intensive work. There really is no need for any able-bodied under 40 year old man or woman to be unemployed around here from now until October or November, but many are and they are all (so it would appear) native British Anglo-Saxon men and woman - go figure...

    If it was not for immigrant and migrant labour, farmers simply would not be able to gather their harvests in - you might be surprised just how unmechanised some of the harvesting processes still are (and even when when there is mechanisation it is still physically challenging work), and what of the labour intensive food processing industries - nothing at all stopping the born and bread Anglo-Saxon man or woman doing such work today, but again because many of the young and unskilled native British Anglo-Saxon workforce refuse to do such menial, repetitive work work it fails to immigrant and migrant labour by default - fine in a time of high employments but when the P45s start getting handed out people of your ilk seem to think that they should have some sort of right to do the very same work that they previously turned down.

  • Comment number 27.

    To hackerjack #23 or anyone,

    What's your speculation about how "level of understanding", perception, political sensitivity or views, varies with age?
    ---------------
    Sorry I'm not sure I get what your question is here.

    If your asking how does political knowledge vary with age I would say of course that it normally grows with age and experience. Fairly obviously really.

  • Comment number 28.

    I was thinking more about things like a shift along the political spectrum, perhaps more conservative with age as your wealth increases, perhaps anarchic in the teen years, extreme right wing as a toddler?! etc., although it might be difficult to generalize.

  • Comment number 29.

    Rod McKenzie,

    You should do a poll of BBC political reporters to see which parties they support. Judging by the World Service, which I listen to quite a bit, the results would probably be 58% LibDem, 40% Labour, and 2% Tories.

    Or if you asked the question, "Would you support a Labour/LibDem coalition to keep the Tories out," 98% would say, "Yes."

    For days now, the World Service has been celebrating the LibDem poll gains and speculating on whether Labour can top them. And anytime the Tories are mentioned, which is rarely, it is to bash them.

    I thought the BBC was obliged to pay particular attention to impartiality in the month before an election. What happened? Is it that you simply don't care about your obligations or are you just completely unaware of your bias?

  • Comment number 30.

    The BNP does so well because the EU is all about lowering the wage packets of ordinary working people by flooding the country with cheap slave labour immigrants.

    Since most young people see this first hand they view the BNP as the only solution.
    Most Liberals work for the government or some form of privatised government regulation(eg.finance), nice wage, nice pension, low job loss risk.
    Most young folk are out there in the real world tasting the economic reality of the global market and seeing first hand how mass immigration lowers the living standards of those at the bottom.

  • Comment number 31.

    #30. At 10:07am on 23 Apr 2010, ady wrote:

    "The BNP does so well because the EU is all about lowering the wage packets of ordinary working people by flooding the country with cheap slave labour immigrants. ../cut the rest of the rant/.."

    What utter tosh, perhaps you have not heard of the National Minimum Wage, it applies to all who work legally here, so unless you are also claiming that all the migrants are illegals and all employers who employ migrants are breaking the law, and that the police and DWP are turning a blind eye... Duh! :-(

  • Comment number 32.

    29. At 10:08pm on 22 Apr 2010, TrueToo wrote:

    Could be worse. Could be local and national employees in say, blog moderating roles, or senior news editors who think BBC branded twitter feeds don't count when it comes to objectivity and balance between professional obligation and personal, corporately pervasive agenda.

    Do I rate the Tories? No. Do I think the media that support them are fair? No.

    Do I think, as some seem to feel, that it is the job of the uniquely funded national broadcaster to 'balance out' the perceived iniquity of the latter (based mainly on frustration at the relatively low readerships of the Graun, Indy and Mirror). No.

    If it has become more Murdoch vs. BBC that is already bad enough, but being required to fund one when I agree with neither and wish 'rule' by no 'we know what's best for you' elite is injury to insult.

  • Comment number 33.

    I would like to politely disagree with hackerjacks comment. I am only 20 years of age and I know for sure who I am going to vote for. I also know that it is not what my parents are voting or because this candidate "looks good". I share a lot of interest in politics and know for a fact that I am voting for the manifesto of my chosen party and not just token policy that sounds nice.
    I am excited to finally have a say in this country and hope that the new percentage of youngsters eligible to vote will also feel the same.

  • Comment number 34.

    OMG!!! Just watched Jeremy Paxman, on iplayer, get taken to the cleaners by Nick Griffen... Wots goin on??? I'm no BNP supporter, in fact I recently joined Lib Dems, before the debates mind you but this interview is almost satirical.

  • Comment number 35.

    #34. At 10:02pm on 25 Apr 2010, John McMullan wrote:

    "Just watched Jeremy Paxman, on iplayer get taken to the cleaners by Nick Griffen..."

    Hmm, you say that you have just watched it on iPlayer but you include no URL to the said interview. I once dreamt that I was watching Elvis Playing the O2 arena...

  • Comment number 36.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 37.

    32. JunkkMale wrote:

    Could be worse. Could be local and national employees in say, blog moderating roles, or senior news editors who think BBC branded twitter feeds don't count when it comes to objectivity and balance between professional obligation and personal, corporately pervasive agenda.

    Thanks for the chuckle. I agree totally with your post.

  • Comment number 38.

    Er..Right. Good stuff but can the Editors move on now? Chop. Chop.

  • Comment number 39.

    "you say that you have just watched it on iPlayer but you include no URL"

    Thank you for providing the link to this interview. I'm a it of a noobie.

    Got to admit, getting gangs of "criminal scum" to dig trenches for fibre optic cabling that is too expensive for private enterprise to undertake is a great idea.

  • Comment number 40.

    As Chair of the British Youth Council (I'm 26), I was interested in the results of your poll, recent media attention around the ‘youth vote’, discussion around how much of an impact the live debates and social media may have had in encouraging a higher voter registration amongst the 18 – 24 year olds and which parties may appeal to the younger voter.

    The British Youth Council is a charity run by young people for young people and we have been working for 60 years to encourage young people to get involved in democracy at a local and national level.

    We would argue that just as with any age group, there will be young people who have always had an interest in what happens at a local and national level. Through the 600 plus youth councils around the country, over 600,000 young people regularly get involved with debating and voting on issues that are important to them. And thousands more are involved in making decisions and voting at school councils. As well as 600 youth councils, the British Youth Council also includes 120 organisations, which have a youth led membership such as The Scouts and St John Ambulance.

    Last year the British Youth Council invited young people around the country to tell them about which issues were most important to them, so that it could develop a British Youth Council General Election Manifesto http://www.byc.org.uk/gec. Over 600 young people submitted proposals, these were debated and discussed at a local level and then voted on locally and regionally, before being narrowed down to 15 proposals which were debated at a national conference.

    5 proposals were agreed which now form the basis of the Manifesto; Our Parliament, Our Vision. These include lowering the voting age to 16, equal pay for equal work under the minimum wage, ending child poverty by 2020, better mental health care for the under 25’s and more affordable public transport for under 25’s. BYC is calling on the next Parliament to take action on these issues to improve the lives of young people.

    BYC says that it’s not that young people have lost the voting habit, but that politicians haven’t been engaging them and or talking about issues that are important to them such as education, employment, mental health etc. And even with the advent of the live debates and use of social media, many politicians are still not listening to what young people have to say or talking about how they will address issues that affect young people’s everyday lives.

    Please have a look at our Manifesto and if you support what we say, you can pledge your support online http://www.byc.org.uk/gec

  • Comment number 41.

    There has been little coverage of Independent MPs. I am proposing an interesting story about the Hugh Salmon for Battersea Party endorsed by Martin Bell, who is touring his constituency (Battersea) on a milk float. slogan.."Don't Float - Vote"

    How about it???

  • Comment number 42.

    _Marko wrote:

    I was thinking more about things like a shift along the political spectrum, perhaps more conservative with age as your wealth increases, perhaps anarchic in the teen years, extreme right wing as a toddler?! etc., although it might be difficult to generalize.
    ----------

    Ah yes I see what you mean now.

    History would tell us that yes more people tend to start out on the left and work their way accross to the centre, this is probably a tendency of the young to be more hopeful (naive would be too strong a word) and believing in a sharing society, something born out by the leanings towards socialism, even mild communism in many universities. As we age, get families of our own of course we become more focused on our own living standards rather than societies.

    Again over-generalisation is very dangerous here and often the slide accross does not go anywhere near far enough to change someone's vote but it is very noticeable.









    Catherine wrote:

    I would like to politely disagree with hackerjacks comment. I am only 20 years of age and I know for sure who I am going to vote for. I also know that it is not what my parents are voting or because this candidate "looks good". I share a lot of interest in politics and know for a fact that I am voting for the manifesto of my chosen party and not just token policy that sounds nice.
    I am excited to finally have a say in this country and hope that the new percentage of youngsters eligible to vote will also feel the same.
    ---------

    I did state that there are many exceptions, there are plenty of young people who ARE informed and are making choices for the right reasons, I'm lucky enough to speak regularly with a number myself.

    From the very fact that you are interested enough to view this blog you are clearly one of them. Therefor of course I would encourage you to vote along with anyone else who holds a genuine interest and understanding.

  • Comment number 43.

    42. At 08:32am on 28 Apr 2010, hackerjack wrote:

    "From the very fact that you are interested enough to view this blog you are clearly one of them. Therefor of course I would encourage you to vote along with anyone else who holds a genuine interest and understanding."

    Patronising or what? You think you can judge who is and isn't able to make an informed decision based on some combination of age and liking for BBC comment pages? Without proper evidence to support which age group knows the most about the party manifestos I don't think that any such judgement should be made.

  • Comment number 44.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 45.

    This hasn't had a update in ages now

  • Comment number 46.

    Young voters are uninterested? Are you kidding? Did you not see the flashmob in Trafalgar Square today? Of course you wouldn't have seen coverage because BBC News ignored it, as did the other broadcasters. Many hundreds of young people wearing yellow gathering to celebrate their political beliefs, i.e. their support for the Liberal Democrat party. Similar gatherings happened all over the country. If young people are so disinterested, why would over 160,000 of them have joined a Facebook page dedicated to the LibDems, www.libdem2010.com? Young people care, young people vote - you're just not polling the right ones, and neither are any of the polling companies. The country is going to get a bit of a shock on Friday, I think.

  • Comment number 47.

    #46. At 7:33pm on 03 May 2010, Alastair Swinnerton wrote:

    "Young voters are uninterested? Are you kidding? Did you not see the flashmob in Trafalgar Square today? Of course you wouldn't have seen coverage because BBC News ignored it, as did the other broadcasters."

    We will have to take your word for the existence of such a rent -a-mob then, but why would the media ignore such an event if it really was as big as you claim?

    "If young people are so disinterested, why would over 160,000 of them have joined a Facebook page dedicated to the LibDems"

    Wow, so 160,000 young people have joined a Facebook page, were are the rest of the million plus, 160,000 individual voters is hardly a pin-prick of support in just one (average) consistency! Considering that it is the young who have the greatest access to IT and the Internet boasting about a mere 160,000 members is almost laughable...

  • Comment number 48.

    One of the main reasons for low youth turnout is that there is no hard-left choice for young people, who are naturally inclined (in general) to lean towards the left. Two parties of the centre versus one of the centre-right isn't much of a choice so why bother?

 

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.