I asked young people across the country why they voted for Labour

There has been much speculation as to why the young opted to vote for Jeremy Corbyn's Labour – so I decided to find out for myself 

Nathan Akehurst
Wednesday 14 June 2017 20:00
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Jeremy Corbyn ran a successful youth mobilisation campaign during the run up to the general election
Jeremy Corbyn ran a successful youth mobilisation campaign during the run up to the general election

Wales

Ben Rigby is a contract cleaner in Machynlleth
My main reason for voting Labour this time is because of my seven month old son. My partner and I are a working family, privately rent our home and rely on local train services for shopping. I want the best health care and education for my child, without income being an obstacle. I've watched as seven years of austerity has seen cutbacks in local schools, stripping creative subjects such as art, music and drama, which are fundamental to a child's development. Also, with the threat of our local A&E being closed, which is currently 15 miles away, our nearest would then be nearly 50 miles away. I have family working zero hour contracts, which is an exploitation of today's youth. Jeremy Corbyn, I believe, is the only person capable of securing our future.

Siwan Clark lives in South Wales
I voted Labour for our country's children, and because of my mum and dad. My mum is a community paediatrician, working with the most vulnerable people in our society – in child protection, helping children with complex disabilities and running clinics for asylum seekers. Her work has shaped every part of my politics, which basically come down to "Just think of the children!"

Mum raised me to see that in an unequal society with families in poverty, it is always the children who pay. Their brains are shaped by anxiety and trauma of early years in unstable and stressful situations, their lives endangered by inadequate healthcare, their futures jeopardised by underfunded schools. No matter what you say about benefit scroungers or hardworking business owners to justify inequality, none of that works for kids. Every child deserves to be happy and healthy and safe – I don't care about their parents' life choices.

After successive Conservative and New Labour governments' relentless cuts, the community paediatrics department my mum help set up barely exists any more. The children she served have nowhere to turn. It's only Jeremy Corbyn's Labour that I trust to fight for them.

Scotland

Jonathan Rimmer is a writer in Glasgow
Like many young Scots I’m a pro-independence supporter who voted Labour primarily because of Jeremy Corbyn and his radical vision. It was frustrating to see Scottish Labour use the election to push such an aggressive anti-independence narrative because the UK party had an excellent manifesto that appealed to young and left-leaning voters.

Obviously things like the NHS and housing are devolved in Scotland, but the rise in minimum wage and scrapping of zero hour contracts really appeal to my generation. I’ve had to work multiple jobs while studying just to get by this year so implementing these changes would personally benefit me (and countless others). I understand why many young Scots still vote SNP, but I think they’ve failed to offer the radical vision of hope the broader Yes campaign did in 2014.

Midlands

Alex Brown is a teaching assistant in Brackley
I voted for the first time in 2017. The story goes that young people don’t vote and this means that young people don’t care about political institutions and democratic processes. Young people have always understood this to be both patronising and untrue.

Columnists and politicians need to reckon with the fact that when young people feel truly represented they will get out and vote with all the fervour of a Tory pensioner.

In Corbyn we voted for a man of integrity. Most importantly, we voted for a manifesto that placed the concerns of precariously employed, heavily indebted young people front and centre. High rents, feckless landlords and expensive privatised transport are the daily reality for young people in Britain. Corbyn’s vision provided a glimpse of a different future, and I leapt at the opportunity to make it a reality.

Nadia Whittome is a student in Nottingham
Labour’s manifesto inspired me like nothing else. This election was our chance to take back control of our futures and positively vote for a party that would negotiate a Brexit prioritising the economy, jobs, employment rights, equality legislation and environmental protection. I trust Labour to properly fund the NHS and the welfare state that has kept afloat families like mine.

I voted with everyone I know in mind and couldn’t think of a single person who would not benefit under Labour.

The North

Jack H is unemployed in North Yorkshire
I come from Richmond, a North Yorkshire Conservative safe seat. My MP was William Hague at one point and Richmond remains blue. As a result I never placed much faith in politics as it were. The election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader in 2015 enthused me and since then I have only watched as most of my young friends from Richmond overcome their suspicions of him and become openly supportive – in many cases openly campaigning for Labour. Corbyn clearly offers a relief for millions of people trapped in poverty, dead-end jobs, zero hour contracts and attracts people who never felt they had a voice in mainstream politics. It felt amazing voting for my future.

General Election 2017: The final results

Jaime Kay lives in Barnsley
I'm a 20-year-old, full term pregnant girl and on 8 June I voted Labour.

I have many reasons why I support Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour manifesto but one that is most important to me will be more funding of the NHS. The hopeful feeling of knowing that there is actually a party that wants all their citizens to be well and healthy, no matter what your class or background is.

I have a variety of friends and family from different backgrounds, but no matter whether they are on benefits, holding down a minimum wage job, or studying, we all need the NHS to be as stable as possible. People close to me need it for ongoing mental health issues. I wouldn't know how my baby is during pregnancy, and my friend wouldn't have support during her long term depression.

I didn't feel any other party really stood up for my class and ensured us that we can be optimistic rather than worried about our future and our children's future.

The South

Jamie is an administrator in Reading
​Corbyn's Labour is a breath of fresh air that blows away the stale cobwebs of the status quo. The Government's relentless erosion of the welfare state (which I grew up reliant upon), the NHS, worker's rights, our schools and public services is something that, as a young person, I cannot afford to ignore.

Being able to vote within our political system for a genuine opposition is something that I jumped at the chance to do. As with many young people, social media and rejecting the mainstream media means that my eyes are open to the effect that the current government is having; not only on the poorest and most vulnerable in our society, but also the devastation that our foreign policy has on the most unstable regions of the world. For the Labour Party to have a leader who has always opposed these actions and policies is truly empowering.

London

Ravi Mistry is a researcher in London
Jeremy is someone who was unequivocally and unashamedly fighting for me and my family. He was fighting for my mum to gain pension compensation, my sister who works for the NHS to get a pay rise and my dad who works in a tissue factory to further his rights as a worker.

Jeremy Corbyn was fighting, and has forever been fighting for the idea of a more equal society. He argued for a society where we all pay in and we all get out together, where we don’t scapegoat migrants, Muslims or the poor, but come together as one. And that for me was awe-inspiring.

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