Category Archives: Younger voters

13/12/19: UK Vote and Younger Voters


On foot of the UK General Elections results, here is a telling sign of the changing generational effects on voting with some questions for the U.S. 2020 election:


Given the above numbers, the 'younger voters tide of change' expected in 2020 in the U.S. elections is a function of two factors: turnouts and demographic concentrations. We are, of course, yet to get this data from the UK polls.

Worth thinking about these, if you are a political analyst.

Note: some data on voter turnout as of 627 MPs elections completed.

  • Turnout was about 67%; circa two-points lower than in 2017, signalling no upswell in political activism by the voters. Given that younger cohorts of eligible voters increased in numbers, while older cohorts diminished due to time lapse, this suggests that younger voters were not as energised to show up at the polls as media hype suggested.
  • Per Brunel University analysis: "youth turnout lagged well behind that of their elders. If we look at the 20 constituencies with the highest proportion of 18-35 year olds, the average turnout yesterday was 63%; the turnout for the 20 constituencies with the fewest 18-35 year olds was 72%." See: https://www.brunel.ac.uk/news-and-events/news/articles/Labour's-car-crash-result-by-age-group. Again, evidence that the younger, more 'Remain', voters were not sufficiently fired up to show up at the polls. 
  • Per same source: "The decline in turnout since 2017 was also slightly greater – at 1.5 points lower – in those constituencies with more young adults than those with the fewest – where it was 0.8 points lower." Again, a signal of younger voter apathy?
  • Younger voters did go for Labour: "Labour held onto every one of the constituencies with the highest number of 18-35 year olds that it won in 2017."
Here is a really damning conclusion, emphasis mine: "What is clear is that, once again, claims of a youthquake – a sharp rise in turnout among young voters that would benefit the Labour party – have proven well short of the mark. At no point in the campaign have the opinion polls suggested that a youth turnout surge would materialise, but there was a great deal of excitement surrounding the surge in voter registrations among the under-35s – 2.8 million between October and December of this year, more than half a million more than in the same period before the 2017 election – which fuelled claims that a youthquake was on the horizon."