UK’s 2017 general election sees massive surge in youth voter turnout
Young people in the United Kingdom have made a tremendous impact on the political scene after their votes swung the election away from the landslide victory expected by the controversial Conservative Party. The election, called by Theresa May in a bid to secure a hard mandate, backfired spectacularly as a “remarkable” two thirds of young people came out to vote on June 8, a clear majority of them supporting Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party. Following a huge increase in voting registration, young people followed through by making their voices heard across the country.
Previous elections had seen younger generations fairly disengaged with the political scene, but in 2017 they had a noble and honest leader to get behind. Corbyn won over young people with promises to abolish tuition fees for universities and deliver proper funding to services, including the provision of a national education service for schools across the country. With this inspiration in mind, alongside some support from UK music artists such as Stormzy, young people in the UK came out to take their futures back and while Labour didn’t win a majority, they nevertheless made a massive impact on UK politics.
Collectively they defied the controversial notion from a Conservative MP that: “Under thirties love Corbyn, but they don’t care enough to get off their lazy arses to vote for him.” Those who got behind Jeremy Corbyn said that he represented them in a way not seen before in British politics.
Others argue that because of the EU referendum last year, which saw many young people disappointed by the leave vote, they saw fit to step up and change their futures. Many also took part in rallies and party canvassing in the lead-up to election, growing more passionate for the political process as a result.
Young people will continue to follow the developments that shape British politics but they achieved something greater in 2017; the country’s youth proved that their voices matter and that they shouldn’t be dismissed any longer.