Why young people tend to be more Left- Wing 

The voting age in the UK has remained at the age of 18 for many years now- since 1969 to be exact. The only time this changed since was in 2013 during the Scottish Independence Referendum. The limit was reduced further to the age of sixteen, but this was exclusively for the 2013 referendum and the only voters were Scottish nationals. So why change the voting age then but not now? 

First, we need to understand how young people think. For example, what would it be like if people under 18 had a vote for a pressing public issue? Well, at Newstead Wood School, a mock general election was held on the same day as the real general elections of Thursday the 12th of December 2019. Students from every year were encouraged to participate in the mock election voting and this was following talks from party leaders for each party, run by the Sixth Formers of the school. They gave talks similarly to the election campaigns of real party leaders to persuade students that their party is the best. With some heated debates and pressing questions, the students were to make their decision by Thursday and fill in their ballot papers that were to be counted by fellow students.  

The key differences between this school mock election and the real elections were of course the age limit in voting and instead of the first past the post system that is used in real elections, the mock elections used proportional representation meaning that the party with the most votes won the election. These factors play a key role in the overall differences between the real and mock election results.  

As we know, the results of the real elections were of a Conservative majority with Labour falling far behind. However, the mock elections resulted in a Labour majority with Conservatives coming not second, not third but second to last before the Brexit party. This stark contrast of results has been affected by the factors mentioned earlier but the general difference in age explains this drastic shift in opinion amongst those over the age of 18 and those below it.  

So why do under 18s tend to vote more for the benefits of the middle class and slightly left- wing ideas? Well this could be down to the fact that younger people are more impressionable to change, and they might have a better view of democracy. As people get older, their image of the government tends to become obscured and they could start to vote in their best interest, not wishing for any drastic changes.  

Young people are the future of the country and whatever over 18- year olds vote for now, will affect those young people later. 

Maryam Khalaf