The youth vote dishevelled the Conservatives, but we haven’t finished yet


By Adam Bradford, social entrepreneur and Queen’s Young Leader

Note: views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of TalkPolitics.

A whopping 72 per cent of young people aged 18-24 voted in the General Election. It was a game changer. Hot off the heels of the EU Referendum I know that myself and my peers rallied round each other to register to vote this year.

I think last year many of us felt like voting in any capacity would be underwhelming and in many ways surpassed by the older generation who had the majority over us. When Brexit hit and the decision wasn’t what we had hoped, we realised we needed to make a difference next time we had a chance.

It is clear that Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party won the youth vote. Every young person I have spoken to this week has cited biased media coverage, boredom at the Conservatives and a wish to see change in the way politics works in Britain.

A vote for Labour was a vote for change – Corbyn’s refreshing, human-level narrative appealed to young people, alongside his youth friendly policies. I do not agree with all of them but I am grateful he made space in his campaigning for young people. It was politics I could relate to, at least.

Now, we have a hung Parliament and an arrangement with the DUP. Who are the DUP? What will this arrangement cost us? What implications will it have? I am extremely unsure and know young people are still a little confused too. We have made our voices heard with our votes but we will not stop here. We will hold politicians to account, exercise our campaigning and voices to make sure we are properly represented and that our votes were not cast in vain.

Theresa May is our leader, but the make-up of our Parliament represents Britain now more wholly – a country perhaps undecided, a little divided, but longing for change. Keep your ears to the ground politicians, the next generation are becoming more and more politicised.

N.B. Post-publishing, this piece was subsequently moved to the ‘Be A Voice’ section.

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