This survey has found out what really matters to those too young to vote
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A survey carried out by the Jack Petchey Foundation has uncovered the issues that matter most to those too young to vote in the general election. 3,165 participants between the ages of 11 and 17 were asked what was most important to them, as well as what they felt was most important to politicians throughout the campaign, with staggeringly different responses. From the young people surveyed, 88% said that education was most important to them, closely followed by the NHS at 84% and then employment at 58%. However, when asked about politician’s greatest priorities, 81% deemed ‘Brexit’ to be the top choice, followed by the economy at 72%, immigration at 69% and education coming in at just 36%, a 52% drop in comparison with the concerns of young people. The survey was carried out across London and Essex, and the results found that in these areas, should they have been allowed to vote, they would have given Labour a landslide with 57% voting for them, compared to the national average of 40%. Around 23% of these young people would have voted for the Conservatives. What’s more, around 80% of the young people surveyed were in favour of the voting age being lowered from 18 to 16, in order to make their voices heard: “As 16 and 17 years olds it is our future that is at stake, politicians tend to ignore the youth as they don’t believe we will hold them accountable at elections but it’s time we should have a say in what will affect us in the next five years of our lives.” CEO of the Jack Petchey Foundation Trudy Kidcullen said: “…little has been said about what those too young to vote think. We wanted their voices to be heard. It’s their future.” “The fact that so many want the voting age to be lowered to 16 shows there could be an opening to bring them into the political system and create a generation of active citizens.” Images courtesy of Chatham House and David Holt.