With the General Election on the horizon, almost a third of 316,264 registrations to vote have been from young people.
In the UK young people have suddenly had a rocketing interest in Politics, and roughly 105,421 eighteen to twenty-five-year old’s have registered to vote in the upcoming 2019 General Election.
Young voters rushed to send in their applications to register to vote at the announcement of the Snap Election on October 29; the total number of young voter’s applications marking the highest amount of applications that have been submitted in 2019.
However, it has been known that in the past young people have not voted for the following reasons:
“The politicians just say what you want to hear, not the truth” – Abbey, 18.
“I don’t see the point in voting, it won’t mean anything, and I’ve never had an interest in politics anyway.” – Mark, 23.
It seems that some young people are put off by voting, and don’t think that their votes will make a difference.
But they are wrong.
If young people vote it will make a big difference, and although it may not seem it, every single vote does count and there is no such thing as a wasted vote – as similarly told ‘there is no such thing as a daft question’.
If you do not vote, political parties that are involved with the election will see no need to cater to young people’s interests in their manifesto.
Therefore if you do not vote, it gives young people a reason to be uninterested in politics and politics to be uninterested in them.
As an example: if 65% of people aged 18-25 vote, compared to 15%, parties will note this and play on it. Therefore, the more votes they have, technically the more power they have over you.
So, this is why YOU should vote:
Even if you have no clue who to vote for and have not made an informed decision; then you could go and vote for a random party or even spoil your ballot – as this is still political participation! By doing this, you will still be classed as a statistic of people who have voted.
As stated earlier, there is no such thing as a ‘wasted vote’ either – if an individual wants to vote for a smaller party, do so.
For example: if you wanted to vote The Green Party, but you know that they will not win in your constituency, it will show them and other parities that their policies matter to you.
Therefore bigger parties, Labour in this example who have a higher chance of getting into power, will be more likely to adopt similar policies in the future.
Another great, and recent example of this, is in the 2017 election.
The United Kingdom Independence Party (known as UKIP) gained roughly 4 million votes across the country, however they gained no political power in the House of Commons.
Due to the high number of votes they received, other parities took on their policies, meaning that next time round those parities who took their policies on will potentially gain extra votes.
To sum up, if young people do not vote they are allowing Politicians to ignore them. As the younger you are, and the more likely you are to deal with the repercussions of the elections that take place.
As well as young people encouraging other young people to vote, professionals and political representatives are also wanting young people to get involved with politics.
Christine Thomas, Head of one of the Electoral Services in the North East said:“Voting is your chance to have your say on who you would like to represent your views in parliament or in your local council.”
“If you don’t vote, you are leaving that decision to someone else, and you then do not have the right to complain about who wins.
“It is only the views of the people who vote that get considered, political parties and candidates know this.
“Previous elections have shown that when younger people get out and go and vote they can can make a difference to the result.
“So if you want these politicians to make a difference on what matters to you, then don’t leave it to someone else and make sure that you vote.”
If you are still unsure on who to vote for, here in a non-bias overview of the parities and their policies in the upcoming election: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2019-50291676
Hi! My name is Hannah Conway and I am a Multimedia Journalist in the final year of my degree at Teesside University.
Journalism, BA (Hons)
Since I was a child I’ve always loved the news and being informed. Like others, I would religiously sit down and watch any news, listen to any radio and read any paper I could from the age of about 12. It was a no brainer for me to come into this career and to do a job that I enjoy. I’m a proud Teessider, so being able to report on and work local issues and national issues is a big interest of mine. In my first year of my studies, I won the award for ‘Community Reporter of the Year’, which allowed my proud Teessider status to show. Every day that I get to work in this industry is a pleasure, and I’m excited for whatever the future holds following my graduation from University.
Software & Hardware Proficiencies:
I am skilled using Adobe software, Open Media, Scheduler, Dira applications and iMovie, which I have practised and learnt through my studies. I can also use professional cameras, as well as video cameras such as the AC-90.
Employment, Work Experience & Volunteering:
I currently work at the Stockton and Billingham Life Newspaper, where each week I write up a match report on Middlesbrough FC and this is published weekly on a Thursday in various locations around the Teesside Area.
I have also carried out work for The Sunderland Echo, and did a two week work placement at BBC Tees.
Despite studying a Journalism course, I often delve into the wider social science world too. I have created pieces of work varying from politics to mental health. I have a keen eye for art, and also love music. Visiting different places in the world and photography are also huge passions of mine.