Our latest report shows that youth elections are becoming increasingly popular with rising numbers of young people taking part and voting. The report 'Youth Votes Count' collates data for youth elections across all tiers of local government during 2011/12, in order to paint the picture of youth democracy across England.

The figures show that the number of votes being cast in youth elections in the UK has increased by nearly 50 per cent in just a year, from 409,114 in 2010/11, to 595,600 in 2011/12. And, average turnout for elections in 2011/12 was 23.26 per cent, up on 16.81 per cent in 2010/11.

The report also provides some background information on the election methods used by councils, the cost and time spent on holding elections and a timeline as to when elections take place.

This data will be used to inform discussions and decisions about when and how to improve elections and share best practice, as well as to underline a growing mandate from children and young people who say they want to get involved and take part in representative activity. We will also look at how the information can be used to support a potential connection between the voting habits and registration of young people and voting in adult elections.

Commenting on the findings, BYC Chair Rosina St James said:

"This report demonstrates an appetite from young people to get involved in youth democracy. We do it different from Westminster, without political parties and largely issue-based with a focus on local communities.

"Our voter numbers are up, turnout is up and representation of gender and minorities is rich and diverse. It's time for politicians to tune in to young people and talk with them, not about them if we are reverse the decline in first timer voter turnout at the next general election."