They’ll like us when we win – It’s high time we started to vote.

You can register to vote by 22nd May here: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

Decisions are made by those who show up. I know it’s cliché, but you cannot tell me it isn’t true.

Setting aside partisan blinders, for the most part, I think it’s about time somebody wrote a blog post about the importance of youth engagement and turnout, because it hasn’t been done yet… But please, keep reading.

66% of the eligible voters cast their ballot as the Conservative party comprehensively beat Labour in the 2015 General Election. Their 38% easily besting Labour’s 31%. Pretty clear cut, eh?

But this doesn’t even come close to telling the whole story. More critical to this piece, is the turnout, and allocation of votes, amongst contrasting age demographics.

43% of 18-24 year olds voted Labour, whilst only 27% voted Conservative. The was offset by over 65’s, with the Conservatives securing 47% to Labour’s 23% in that demographic. Cutely close, you might think, but not when you factor in that only 43% of 18-24 year olds voted, compared to 78% of over 65’s. Pretty much every age group in between was within the margin of error.

Fast-forward little over a year, and you reach the referendum. As I pointed out in the wake of the result:

Consider that 75% of 18-24’s voted to remain, it is easy for us to scapegoat a generation that overwhelmingly voted in favour of leaving the EU (61%), and they did so to the tune of over 80% turnout. This was supposed to be our vote. Of course, the entire electorate is entitled to vote, but we had and continue to have so much more at stake. It was paramount that we got out the vote and rallied the disengaged youth, but we didn’t. 36% turnout in 18-24’s. That is 36% to their 83%.”

That other age group? Over 65’s, of course.

We lost in 2015, and we lost the referendum too. Our votes matter. How many times do we have to let this happen? It isn’t complicated, or difficult, or futile, and we cannot blame anyone but ourselves.

Whilst I was at University, I was part of a research group that was tasked with investigating youth apathy and political disengagement for the Cornish Green Party. Anyway, during a Q&A, someone asked how we can bring salient issues for our age group to the forefront of British Politics.

We vote. It’s that simple. And the benefit is twofold. First of all, if we turn out at anywhere near the rate that over 65’s do, we might, just might, start electing the party that we wish for. Secondly, the Government would have to start catering to our age group’s wants and needs. After all, we would have helped elect them. If they don’t, they might lose our vote, and lose Parliament for it.

Even if we don’t get the Government we wished for, they will still have to stop putting us on the back-burner, because as a collective our vote would carry a considerable amount more weight than we do now. Either way, maybe we won’t get screwed so goddamn always.

As it stands, there isn’t all that much reason for the current Government to appease our needs. They don’t need to like us, we didn’t vote for them, but we don’t vote anyway, so what does it matter? Protesting and impassioned social media posts can only take us so far. If you’re protesting a democratically elected government and you didn’t vote, sit down. That nullifies your right to complain. If you want your voice heard, vote. They’ll like us when we win.

If it’s the only thing you do on Thursday 8th June, make sure you vote.

You can register to vote by 22nd May here: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

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