Young people didn’t vote in the General Election for ‘free beer and other gimmicks’
The confused and cynical old critics are the ones who need to grow up
This election has seen a record number of students voting, with some pundits indicating that 72 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds voted in yesterday’s General Election. By contrast, in 2015, only 43 per cent of young people voted.
However, our enthusiasm for politics has been confused as wanting “free beer and other gimmicks”, which were offered yesterday to those people who could prove they had voted.
I don’t know about but you, but I don’t know anyone aged 18-24 who voted for those reasons.
If it takes free beer and other gimmicks to convince young people to vote, they shouldn't vote…
— B.Nicholls (@The_ASMR_Gamer) May 19, 2017
We voted out of genuine interest and not merely on a whim to get a free beer. Students realise who you vote for carries a lot more weight than simply enabling you freebies; it’s insulting to pose this kind of argument, especially because it just isn’t true.
We aren’t treating our vote like a Freshers’ Fair at university, in which we sign up to random societies just for the sake of some free goodies. Young people are as politically aware as their elders – and if that scares them, so be it.
So sad how young people will chose labour over one mainfesto promise that he probably cant keep (university fees) Very selfish… #2017GE
— Zach (@zachball11) June 9, 2017
Neither is it just about tuition fees for all 18-24 year olds. As a student, you often get this label of being pro-Labour (even if you aren’t) on account of Corbyn pledging to scrap university tuition fees in time for September.
Lots of students realise that their lives are much more than a few years at university, and that we’re voting for other important issues that will impact us, such as taxation, the NHS and pensions.
In fact, many students recognise how detrimental abolishing tuition fees could be to the quality of university education and see through the allure of abolishing them, as this Tab Leeds writer reported – so don’t judge as all with the same thinking.
Hi, I am 25 years old and have been out on the streets for your party every night, show some fucking gratitude you mummified pricks https://t.co/9KUowzGSfr
— edit (@multiplebears) June 8, 2017
Young people were genuinely invested in this election. They campaigned, they felt inspired, and they voted accordingly. The student support for Labour in particular this Election was overwhelming.
Jeremy Corbyn acted as an inspiration for many and rejuvenated what was for them, an unrelatable Tory campaign in which Theresa May failed to address the masses, or endear them. These young people voted for a genuinely costed manifesto, which addressed a lot of their valid concerns.
Yet here are some of the reactions to the young vote online:
20 years time:
Explain the way in which social media contributed to young people being indoctrinated by Labour and Jeremy Corbyn (20 Marks)
— JJ (@JAMES_J0NES) June 8, 2017
It actually is so sad how so many young people have been brainwashed into voting labour, no idea what's at stake by voting like that
— Jamés (@jamiemcmathx) June 9, 2017
Extraordinary to see the Education minister @JustineGreening dismiss young people's votes as ill informed and idealistic. And disappointing.
— Debra Kidd (@debrakidd) June 9, 2017
Young people that vote labour shouldn't be allowed to vote
— Jonny Ridley (@Ridley0T) June 9, 2017
@Iromg It looks like the old people saddled us with Brexit and the young people are giving us Jeremy
— David Longbottom (@davidlongbottom) June 9, 2017
Funny how the only reason most young people vote labour is because of the free tuition fees. When they won't even implement the policy ?
— Archie Seaton (@archieseaton) May 31, 2017
Young people’s enthusiasm for politics is a good thing. It means we’re invested in our futures and can begin to make informed decisions about them. Criticising people for having an opinion, simply because it doesn’t agree with your own, seems rather petty.
We voted because we’re invested in the results of this election. If you don’t like those results, young people aren’t the problem.