According to data from Ipsos MORI, the 2015 General Election saw more than half of 18 to 24 year olds in the UK fail to use their vote. In an attempt to turn that around this year, Thorpe Park are offering young voters discounted entry and pubs up and down the country promised a free beer in return for registering.
The upcoming General Election will see the likes of Labour and the Conservatives go head to head, alongside UKIP, the Green Party and the Liberal Democrats.
Young people are especially being encouraged in the campaign to ensure that no vote goes unused. To make sure you’re prepared, view your local candidates ahead of the poll on Thursday 8th June.
James Hodgson-Jones, who is Chairman of the Conservative Society at the University of Salford, says:
“Everybody, not just students, has a civic duty to vote. It is a privilege denied to millions of people around the world and we should not take it for granted. Many people, here and in other countries, gave their lives in order to earn the right to vote. We should value the freedom we have to exercise a free choice when voting.
“Students are making a major investment in their personal future. Their opportunities to reap the benefits will be determined by the economic and political choices made by government. It is therefore important that all students vote in order to shape those opportunities.”
Politics student Kieron Wilson is standing for the seat of Bournemouth East as an independent candidate. He says:
“I decided to stand for MP because the demographic of Bournemouth is changing, and there are a lot of young people who live there, who are not being represented as well as they could be.
“I felt that I had to do something. I’m saying I will represent the voice of young people, and I really would encourage young people to make sure they vote on June 8th.”
With students and young people around the UK being urged to use their vote, I wanted to find out which issues are most important to Salford students when considering who to vote for.
With the 18-21 demographic being encouraged to vote in the #GE2017, we want to know what issues are important to our students…
— University of Salford (@SalfordUni) May 12, 2017
The Twitter results showed that most students would consider issues relating to the NHS when deciding on their chosen political party. University fees came in second place, with Labour recently promising to write off tuition fees for students starting this September.
I spoke to some Salford students to find out why they think young people should make the most of their vote.
“It’s important for young people to vote because it’s our generation that could make a difference. If everyone voted, we could make that difference” says Photography student Abbie Jennings.
Journalism & English student Eve Chok thinks that young people believe it doesn’t matter whether they vote or not. “They have no faith in the establishment and think that even if they do vote, they won’t change anything.”
TV & Radio student Lee Wilkinson agrees. “A lot of young people find political issues boring, but if they don’t keep up and vote it’s their futures that are being affected.”
Find your nearest polling station and make sure that your voice is heard on Thursday 8th June.