Nearly two thirds of young people 'absolutely certain' to vote in general election, poll finds

Survey finds young voters back Labour by two to one over all the other parties combined

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Indy Politics

Nearly two thirds of young people say they are “absolutely certain” to vote in the general election, a new poll shows, suggesting a higher-than-usual youth vote could bolster Jeremy Corbyn’s chances against the Conservatives.

The ICM poll, commissioned by anti-racism group HOPE not hate and supported by the National Union of Teachers (NUT), found 63 per cent of 18-24-year-olds said they were “absolutely certain” to vote.

And, of those planning to vote, 67 per cent said they would back Labour, compared with just 16 per cent for the Conservatives and eight per cent for the Liberal Democrats. The Greens and SNP were both on three per cent, with UKIP and Plaid Cymru on one per cent each.

Half of respondents said Mr Corbyn had the right qualities to be Prime Minister, compared with just 28 per cent saying the same about Theresa May.

In an indication that marginal constituencies could be an important factor for young people on election day, four out 10 said living in a marginal constituency would make them more likely to vote.

When asked what issues were most important to them, 54 per cent said the NHS, while 26 per cent said Brexit and 22 per cent said education. More than half (52 per cent) said they believed leaving the EU would reduce their life opportunities. 

Eighty-three per cent of young people said they wanted the next Government to guarantee access to apprenticeships, while 75 per cent supported the abolition of tuition fees.

However, an overwhelming majority of 72 per cent said they had no confidence in politicians and politics to solve their issues, with just 21 per cent saying they were confident in politicians.

Nick Lowles, chief executive of HOPE not hate, said: “These figures reveal that young people are far more interested and engaged in politics than many people think. 

”If 63 per cent of young people vote in this election then they could influence the result in several dozen seats. Political parties need to take young voters seriously."

Kevin Courtney, the NUT's General Secretary, said: ”It is everyone's democratic right to vote. That is why it has been so heartening to see such high numbers for voter registration, particularly amongst 18-24 year-olds, in the run-up to this year's deadline. 

“It is great that so many young people are engaged in politics and recognise that they have an equal say.”