Dr Stuart Fox looks at data from a second survey conducted on polling day to explore how young people planned to vote and how engaged they were with the referendum itself.
‘It is now four days since the UK took the most momentous political decision of this generation, and the dramatic consequences have dominated the weekend news: the Prime Minister has resigned, the Leader of the Opposition is facing a vote of no confidence, a second independence referendum in Scotland is now a serious possibility, and there is even talk of a reunification referendum in Ireland. There are few decisions the British public can take that will have such a dramatic impact on our political system, and it will be some time before the full consequences of the EU referendum for British politics can be understood,’ comments Dr Fox.
‘The role of young people in this remarkable feast of democracy has been an issue of great interest, largely because surveys on or immediately after polling day show that younger voters stood out from their elders in enthusiastically endorsing Britain’s membership of the EU but were out-voted by their more Eurosceptic and politically active elders. With the help of YouGov, our study on Young People and the EU Referendum conducted a second survey on polling day to explore how young people planned to vote and how engaged they were with the referendum itself. Here we present our five key findings.’
- Young voters overwhelmingly backed Remain – but there were important divisions
- Two thirds of under-30s voted – the highest turnout for this age group since the 1990s
- Politically apathetic under-30 year olds were under-represented at the polls
- Young people had more trust in the campaigns than their elders
- Despite the negative nature of the campaign, the referendum was successful in boosting youth engagement with politics
Click here for the findings in full.
For more information about the project visit: www.wiserd.ac.uk/eureferendum/