There’s been a real importance placed on the student vote for the upcoming election on 7th May. Some students see it as a lost cause whilst others feel its importance is great. The last election, back in 2010, showed that most students’ votes fell with the Liberal Democrats, and whilst this support has now fallen, it seems that Labour and the Green Party are taking students’ notice, according to the recent opinion polls.
In 2010, only 44% of 18-24 year-olds voted in comparison to 76% of people aged 65 and over. This may have much to do with the trebling of tuition fees, uncertainty of housing and jobs, and general cuts making a massive change to young people’s lives. All of these factors have made young people feel out-cast and unimportant. With fears rising that there will be much the same decrease in young people voting this year, there have been a few tactics to push them to vote this coming election. Now, it’s becoming more about how to get young people engaged in politics, rather than accepting that they wish not to take part. Apps, social media and vlogging have all played a part in the push towards getting young people voting. If the youth vote makes up a fair amount of people, then there seems a very important need to get young people engaged, especially when so many students do actually care about so many of the issues raised by politics. The government was said to have spent around £530,000 on trying to persuade students to vote.
Even E4, a channel largely watched by young people, will be shut down by Channel 4 on the day of the election in a bid to get more young voters. Being one of the most popular youth channels on TV, reaching around 8.7 million of 16-34 year-olds each month, this action is hoping to create a real influence on young people to go out and vote to make a difference to their country. This is believed to be the first time that a UK channel has ever shut down for an election. Their main question, which will be raised in their advert to explain their absence, is: ‘“How many times have you missed life-changing events because you wanted to watch your favourite show?”
Whatever your thoughts about the election, to make your own right choice, it’s important to know the ins and outs of each party and the pledges that they put forward. With the internet providing a lot of information on each party and their intentions, it’s easy to find out which party you suit most. So whether or not you like politics, your vote is important and it’s 100% worth your time.