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Where are all the first time voters?

With the general election campaigns in full swing and the mailbox leaflets and TV debates soon to follow the big question is where are all the young people when it comes to voting? Like many other people this year’s general election will be my first and it saddens me to think that I might be alone when it comes to voting at the polling station.

Having studied politics at A Level I was lucky enough to be surrounded by others who were just as enthusiastic about politic as me and I couldn’t wait for the day I turned 18 and my first voting slip would arrive in the post. But since moving to university I’ve realised that many young people aren’t as proactive when it comes to deciding who they want to be running the country.

Whilst many young people are still hung up over the whole Nick Clegg tuition fee promise of 2010 we should be looking ahead at what is going to happen this election. Over the past year we have seen the rise of UKIP as a possible major party contender, a referendum take place deciding the future of Scotland and the UK’s membership in the EU being constantly questioned, making the whole tuition fee issue a mere small fish in a huge ocean. The political world is livening up and it’s time for us to take the reins and make our voices heard.

In a recent survey by Opinium for The Observer the Labour Party came out on top as favourites with first time voters (41%) with The Conservatives closely beating The Green Party to second place with 21%. It’s obvious that young people do have a political view but their opinion of what is most important when it comes to political change may differ from that of the more experienced voting body. If more young people voted and voiced their opinions parties wouldn’t have any other choice but to listen to what they are saying.

Young people and first time voters make up a lot of the voting population and their say is as important as any other, with the political sphere seeing the rise and fall of various parties and leaders, it’s time for us to take to the polling stations and have our say.

 


External links

The Observer – Britain’s first time voters

 

Laura Copestake
Laura Copestake is a student at the University of Liverpool.

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