‘It’s typical student procrastination’: How many Nottingham young people will actually vote?

Eliot Ball a young voter in Nottingham Credit James Gregory

“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”

Few have made a more compelling – or amusing – argument for turning out to vote than Plato, the Greek philosopher and famous student of Socrates.

But with less than a day to go until registration for June 8 closes, even ancient wit would struggle to convince the millions of younger people thought to have so far shunned the opportunity to even have the chance to make their mark.

Although more than 100,000 people under the age of 25 registered to vote in the UK over the weekend, in the 2015 General Election only 43 per cent of this age group went to the polls.

So Notts TV asked the young people of Nottingham whether they would vote this time around.

Eliot Ball, 19, a Nottingham Trent University student in real estate, of Nottingham said: “This is my first general election I am voting in.

“I think there was more pressure to register in the last few days because of the deadline. It is better to register and not vote than to not register at all.

“Jeremy Corbyn [Labour leader] has made politics interesting. Ed Miliband before him got young people interested but Jeremy seems to represent everyday people more”

The increase in young voters registering follows Labour’s announcement that they would scrap tuition fees by September this year if they are elected.

And on Saturday Conservative leader and Prime Minister Theresa May seemed to appeal to Tory voters who may be tempted to stay at home when she wrote on her Facebook page: “If I lose just six seats I will lose this election, and Jeremy Corbyn will be sitting down to negotiate with the presidents, prime ministers and chancellors of Europe.”

Applications by age group to date. Source: Gov.uk.

Lewis Stevens, a philosophy and international relations graduate, agrees with Eliot.

The 22-year-old said: “When you think about it, it isn’t very logical for young people not to vote.

“It affects us the most out of all age groups, because it covers education, housing and affects our future.”

The university graduate explained that students need to vote and take it upon themselves to have a say in their country’s politics.

He added: “I think following the EU referendum people realised that their vote matters.

“I voted in the referendum but I never thought we would leave. Now more than ever it is our opportunity to get our opinion across.”

Benjamin Gulliford, 20, President of Nottingham Trent University’s Politics and International Relations Society said: “Students wait until the very end to register.

“In the 2015 election the registration to vote stopped and students complained because they couldn’t register after the deadline.

“It is stereotypical student procrastination at its finest.”

In comparison to the 67,200 times 25-30 year-olds registered yesterday (21 May), under-25s registered 90,200 times.

The politics student added: “I don’t think that the increase in young voters over the weekend has anything to do with the Labour manifesto.

“They shouldn’t vote based on one policy because if that policy is later found to be un-feasible then they are the first not to be catered for under whichever new government gets into power.”

Professor Matt Henn, of Nottingham Trent University’s School of Social Sciences said: “Tuition fee issues might really play a role in the up-coming election.

“You could see more young people registering and voting although every year people claim that this will be the election for the students or the social media election and it never turns out that way.”

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