The end of student apathy: 93 per cent have already registered to vote

Students and young people have always represented a problem for political campaigning. They can be difficult to approach and even more difficult to handle. According to a poll by YouthSight, this year’s general elections will not experience such a problem. Of those entitled to vote, 93 per cent have already registered to vote and are expected to do.

However, some charities strongly disagree with this data. Hope Not Hate has announced that students are expected to be underrepresented and will be rather reluctant to place a vote at all.

So what is it going to be this June? Influential student activism or predictable student pacifism?

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Numbers of young voters have been steadily going down but the trend seems to be reversing. Infographic: Haonan Yuan

The relationship between young people and politics has always been tense. When it comes to engagement and particularly voting rates, accurate predictions and statistics are hard to come by. A poll across 1000 full-time undergraduate students entitled to vote revealed that the majority of students intend to vote.

What were they concerned about? The biggest concern among all polled was, quite predictably, Brexit. 72 per cent stated that it will influence their vote, while 66 per cent were confident that the EU and the NHS are on top of their concerns. Interestingly, 62 per cent said they are likely to support a party because it opposed Brexit. All in all, British youth appears to be politically engaged.

Hope Not Hate charity’s position, however, differs significantly. What the charity has warned about is that students may turn out to be underrepresented at the general elections, simply because they are unsure whether to register to vote. Those who have are equally uncertain about actually voting.

While this has been attributed to the political and social situation in the country, YouthSight’s poll revealed there is a feeling that parties do not represent their interests. Students have long campaigned for lower tuition fees, security and housing.

Is there a party which will appeal to young voters in this year’s general elections?

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