The Leave campaign has taken the lead in EU polls and it could be our fault

Only half of 18 – 34 year olds say they’re certain to vote

This week, education secretary Nicky Morgan tried to court the youth vote.

During a speech delivered to a group of such youths, she talked about how leaving the EU would make young people sad because it would make Interrailing harder (?) and might in some opaque way affect other things young people like e.g. eBay and Instagram. She also urged us to get all our “older friends” to vote to stay in. Right.

Why the self-sabotage? The Observer clears it up in a roundabout way today. Its front page leads with, “young hold the key to Brexit as Leave takes lead”, and prints the results of an online survey carried out by pollsters Opinium, which finds that the Leave campaign is now on 43 per cent, versus Remain, which is on 39 per cent. Crucially, while 53 per cent of the 18 – 34 year olds polled would vote to remain in the European Union, only half  of those asked (52 per cent) said that they are certain to go out and vote.

So Morgan, a member of the Remain camp, needs the young people.

For on the other hand, 81 per cent of those in the 55+ age group stated that they intend to vote. 30 per cent of that group would vote to remain and 54 per cent would vote to leave.

The data commissioned by the Observer

The data commissioned by the Observer

81 per cent of the 55+ group are certain to vote

81 per cent of the 55+ group are certain to vote

It’s a real shame Morgan is so bad at mobilising the young as it’s a total waste of their sympathies. Media blog Guido Fawkes called the speech Morgan’s Nicola Murray moment, after the hapless politician in The Thick of It.

On the other hand, the fact so many of our generation are apathetic about getting out to vote probably isn’t as funny as a spitting, frothing Malcolm Tucker rant. Some sage people are calling the referendum “the most important vote that any of us are likely to have in our lifetimes”. With that in mind, perhaps Morgan and her pals at Remain should start couching their case in meaningful, compelling and emotive terms, rather thank chuntering on in “youth” speak.

Perhaps they could just talk to some of us.

 

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