Youth Vote undecided – who wants it?

– The British Youth Council (BYC) has commissioned a new YouGov poll into young voter attitudes and initial results revealed as part of their manifesto launch, indicate that as many as 2 out of 3 are undecided about which candidate or party they would vote for in their constituency.

– BYC (which represents over 250 youth organisations) launches their new online manifesto video to  highlight its top five challenges to parties and candidates: on Votes at 16, Mental Health, Living Wage, Youth Services, and First Aid in schools.

– The same poll revealed a general voting intention by those aged 18-24 with Labour on 36%, Greens 20%, Conservatives 19%; UKIP 14%; Lib Dems 5%; and SNP/ PC 5%.

On Tuesday 3rd March 2015, British Youth Council (BYC) launched its General Election manifesto and video, and revealed some findings from its new YouGov UK wide poll, which shows 2 out of 3 young voters aged 18-24 have yet to decide who to vote for. The figure is released in advance of a report into youth engagement in the election to be published later this month.

Mita Desai, Chair, British Youth Council said: “In the lead up to this year’s General Election it’s important that we remind everyone that young people are interested in the issues and the it’s now up to politicians to face up to challenge of engaging us – Give us something to vote for! . We’ve launched our five campaigns today because we want more politicians to pay attention to the youth vote. Talk to us not about us. Use our vote – or lose it”

The manifesto – presented in a new online video – sets out BYCs top-five priority agenda for this year’s candidates and parties to consider as they seek the backing of undecided young voters to form a new Government. Our Vision Our Parliament features “votes for 16 and 17 year olds” which topped a poll of its membership, underlining  a persistent call by young people to be included in our democracy. The full list includes:

1. Reduce the voting age for parliamentary and other public elections, across the UK, to 16 years.
2. Recognise that our minds matter, and improve the access to and quality of our mental health services.
3. Ensure that everyone is paid the Living Wage.
4. Take the lead in restoring levels of funding for youth services that has been cut in recent years.
5. Ensure that quality First Aid is a compulsory subject for all children in schools.

Find out more about ‘Our Parliament. Our Vision’

Our Parliament . Our Vision.

The British Youth Council have also been running a voter registration campaign aimed at young people and challenging the political parties and candidates to give young people something to vote for. BYC commissioned YouGov to run a poll last week (20th-26th  February) of 1,175 young people aged 16-24 year olds on a whole range of democratic engagement issues, including the impact of lowering the voting age to 16 and 17 year olds would have.

In response to the question “Have you decided which party or candidate you will vote for in your constituency for the General Election in May this year? Only 36% of those aged 18-24 who may vote in May “definitely knew who they would vote for”. Others ranged from “fairly sure but may change my mind” (25%); “not sure but have an idea” (13%) to “completely undecided” (13%) or “don’t know” (13%).

Political parties have been invited to send representatives to the launch to give an initial response and answer questions [for confirmation of who see Editors Notes]. All parties with representation in Westminster, devolved nations or Europe will be written to for an official response.

The launch, will be led by Mita Desai (24) Chair, Ife Grillo (17), Vice Chair and Member of Youth Parliament for Hackney, and Chante Joseph (18) Vice Chair BYC and member of Youth Select Committee, we will announce our vision for our parliaments programme for youth, and reveal our latest campaign video. We want all political parties to give young people something to vote for and have invited the main political parties to the launch to give an initial response to the issues that young people want to see a new Parliament address. We are also calling for the next Government to appoint a dedicated Youth Minister to not only champion these causes but to continue to listen to young voices throughout a Parliament, and to further engage the youth vote in 2020.

Get ready for the election

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