This project is a study of young people’s attitudes towards and engagement with the EU referendum campaign. Using data from a dedicated UK-wide survey of under 30s and a wide range of publicly available data and academic research we will address four key themes. These are examining:
- the likelihood to vote among young people and those traits which may be decisive in determining which young people cast a vote in the referendum;
- their voting preference for leave or remain;
- how much young people trust the two respective campaigns and the media sources through which they hear about the referendum;
- and the effect these may have on their engagement with the campaign and their eventual voting decision.
Drawing on our own survey and previous research, we will offer analysis and commentary about the voting intentions of young people, how they are engaging with the campaign, and how and why their attitudes may shift throughout its course. We will also examine how major political events between now and the 23rd June – such as the Budget or the devolved elections on 5th May – might affect young people’s decisions. We will also consider how the referendum campaign may affect the broader political engagement of young voters, and examine the possibility that engagement with the issue of Britain’s EU membership and participation in the referendum itself may boost young people’s interest in electoral politics more broadly.
The project will involve collaboration with organisations working to engage young people including Youth Cymru and the National Assembly for Wales’ Youth Engagement Team.