- John Curtice Hughes/NME
LONDON – Britain’s general election might produce a result few saw coming – a hung parliament – and young people voting in force may be behind it.
An alternative exit poll published by NME suggests that a massive 60% of young people in Britain voted for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party. Turnout among young people, meanwhile, is up 12% to 56% on the last general election in 2015.
The NME exit poll was conducted by The Stream and surveyed 1,354 18-34-year-olds.
It comes on the back of the official one, which has predicted a hung parliament. The Conservatives remain the largest party, albeit with a reduced vote share, and not enough seats for an overall majority. Labour, meanwhile is expected to jump 34 seats, up to 266.
Theresa May called the snap election from a position of apparent strength, to reinforce her party before the Brexit negotiations. But instead, the Conservatives may have kneecapped themselves, and May’s future looks uncertain.
Corbyn, meanwhile, may have defied his critics – both inside and outside the party – to do what few mainstream commentators predicted.
In the NME exit poll, 66% of 18-24 year-olds surveyed said they voted for Labour. This compared to 20% for the Conservatives, 8% for the Lib Dems, and just 2% for UKIP, the SNP, and the Green Party.
Among 25-33-year-olds, meanwhile, 58% backed Labour, followed by 23% for the Conservatives, 8% Lib Dems, 5% UKIP, 3% SNP, and 1% Green.
In a statement, Mike Williams, NME editor-in-chief, said: “A lot of talk during this election has been about whether young people would bother to get out and vote. They did, in huge numbers, and on a scale not seen in the UK in recent years. We at NME are incredibly proud to see this, and it’s further proof that young people in the UK are massively engaged with politics in 2017.
“While this is really encouraging, there is still a significant amount of apathy within the 18-24 group that needs addressing. Politicians across all parties need to do more to engage the young voters of the future, because ensuring that their voices are heard and that their needs are central to manifestos is vital for a fair and progressive society. Keep believing, we’re heading in the right direction. “
This story is developing…