The 2017 snap election resulted in an incredible 20% increase in 18- to 24-year-old voters since the election two years ago.
63 percent of the young voters backed the Labour manifesto – which stood for the abolition of university fees and increased per-pupil funding for schools while other parties proposed to freeze or cut education funding. 27% of young people voted Conservative.
YouGov reports that statistically, younger people are more likely to vote Labour: the probability of a person voting conservative increases by 8% per every ten years of age.
Youth register to take a stand for education
1.05 million young people registered to vote since Mrs May called the election six weeks ago and Sky News reported that 66.4% of young people turned out to the polling stations, a significant hike from the 43% turnout in 2015.
Nearly 250,000 18-24s made ‘final day registrations’ in response to the emotive campaigns by the party leaders – double those of the 2015 election. Jeremy Corbyn of the Labour party was notably endorsed by celebrities Lily Allen and rappers including Professor Green.
Possibly fuelled by the results of their inaction in the referendum, this new generation of voters turned out en masse to make a difference to their life choices in this election.
The snap election resulted in a hung parliament, leaving the British parties negotiating for a coalition party to negotiate us through Brexit.
Schools and colleges motivated to cultivate political knowledge
Education institutions have had a difficult role to play in the lead up to the election. Many will suffer severe funding cuts under the existing fair funding plan but as government-led institutions, they can, of course, show no bias in their teaching about elections, nor motivate parents to march or support funding strikes.
But educators know that manifestos speak for themselves and that the important barrier to overcome is young people’s confidence in politics. Websites such as The League of Young Voters have harnessed the power of social media to educate and motivate. We have 4 years or less until the next election. The 2021 voters are currently 14 years old.
What more can be done to show these critical components that the future is in their hands?