UK millennials join the voting ballot in droves
Engagement in politics among U.K. youth is on the up this year as over 100,000 under the age of 25 across the country have registered to vote, putting their voices up to have a say in the U.K.’s future. The changes occurred just three days after the announcement of another major election on April 18.
The U.K. is in the middle of great political events, with both local county elections in May and a full-scale general election in June called upon by current Prime Minister Theresa May. The vote was called in response to last year’s EU referendum which saw Britain vote to leave the European Union last year. With a clear majority of young people voting to remain in that event, it’s easy to see a frustration brewing since then.
In total, 100,439 people under 25 joined the voting ballot and this was complemented by a further 99,106 people between the ages of 25 and 34 signing up. This is likely in response to the drastic uptake in campaigning seen across the nation recently, particularly with the likes of Jeremy Corbyn and his policies striking a chord with younger people.
Some have also pointed out the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit vote, namely Professor Matt Henn of the Nottingham Trent University Social Sciences and Politics Division. “It could well be because young people have been left feeling really deeply disappointed and worried by the outcome of the Brexit referendum and therefore want to do something to ensure their voice is heard in the general election,” Dr. Henn said.
Emma Hartley, the head of campaigns at the U.K.’s electoral commission said it was very encouraging that so many have chosen to register.
In addition, registration numbers are also said to increase with the importance of a particular vote.
Considering how only 43 percent of young people turned out to vote in the last general election in 2015, the rise in registration could signal a massive change in trends for this year’s vote.