The Speaker
Sunday, 21 July 2024 – 07:37

Young people are becoming increasingly averse to politicians

Around half of young people have lost faith in MPs in the last year according to a recent poll.

Financial worries were the main cause of concern for young people, with Brexit related fears also a significant concern.

The poll – which surveyed 4000 people – found that half of its respondents had less confidence in MPs than they did a year ago.

42% of the respondents claimed that financial worries were behind this loss in confidence, whilst 38% stated that Brexit was the cause of their anxieties.

The poll also aimed to understand policy preferences of young people, with 83% wishing to see a rise in the minimum wage for apprentices and 52% in favour of banning zero hours contracts.

The poll was commissioned by the Young Women’s Trust – who support women on little or no pay – and was conducted by Populous Data Solutions.

The data also discovered significant regional disparities, with the north of England feeling more disillusioned with politicians than elsewhere.

58% in the north-west felt their confidence in politicians was waning, whilst the figure sat at 57% for the north-east – both regions with amongst the highest percentage of leave voters in the 2016 referendum.

The latest dissatisfaction is perhaps a surprise given that turnout for 18-24-year olds was at its highest in 25 years in the 2017 general election, at 54%.

This largely goes against the conventional wisdom that young people don’t vote because they don’t care about politics, perhaps suggesting that they are more enthused to challenge the politicians they are disillusioned with.

This latest data comes just days after an electoral map was produced using YouGov data, suggesting that Labour would win 600 seats if only 18-24-year olds could vote.

The alignment with issues such as a higher minimum wage and a disillusionment with Westminster can perhaps explain the huge support for the labour party amongst this age bracket who are clearly tired of the conventional politician, which Jeremy Corbyn is considered not to be.

This will make more grim reading for the government who have been trying to explore ways to capture the youth vote in recent months – floating policy ideas such as legalising Cannabis for medicinal purposes.

With Labour currently performing well in the polls, despite anti-Semitism allegations, it awaits to be seen whether these anxieties will translate into young people voting in the next general election, or whether this disillusionment continues the conventional aversion to the ballot box.

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