The British Youth Council calls on the next Government to remember its promises to young people as it makes its plans and prepares a Queen’s Speech – given that as many as 6 in 10 of the electorate of young people aged 18-24 voted according to early analysis of the British Election Study (Sky News). This is up on from 52% in 2010 and 38% in 2005. Now the election is over the British Youth Council is calling on politicians to keep their promises to young people if they are to keep democracy credible, following a 14 month campaign to increase voter registration and turnout through the League of Young Voters coalition, and others. The British Youth Council believe that our electoral system also needs reform to be more representative, but whatever it is, turnout also depends on trust between the electorate and the politicians and for months we’ve been calling on politicians to talk to us – not about us. This reported increased turnout (which we predicted in our YouGov poll before the election) will add weight to our argument that young people can be mobilised and we will explore how this new vote power can lead to young people having an even greater influence between elections as potential future voters.
Today the British Youth Council will be reminding politicians to keep their promises to young people – especially in response to the five priority issues set out in our General Election Manifesto; “16: a new for democracy”, “Our minds matter, “Living wage for everyone”, “Save our youth services” and “Teach first aid in schools”. Last month we released the official responses from parties across the country to our manifesto and the issues young people are calling upon politicians to address. Eight of the seventeen political parties – including The Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and The Labour Party – who responded, made it very clear what they were willing to do as a party following the General Election. The British Youth Council will also be looking at manifestos and speeches and we’ll be doing our best to hold them to account.
Mita Desai, Chair, British Youth Council said: “We know that it’s really important to young people that decision makers keep their word so we’ll be reminding them to keep their promises. Politicians cannot afford to fail young people. It’s simple. Remember our vote, or lose our vote!”