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Youth floating vote will be key to local and European elections

Blog Posts May 20th2014

  • Latest polls show 40% of young people undecided
  • Youth groups urge 1/2 million 18-25 year olds to vote
  • Call on candidates to engage with young voters

A coalition of youth groups including the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI), the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) and SpunOut.ie today (20.05.14) called on young people to make sure they use their vote in the upcoming local, European and by-elections.

“Up to 458,000 young people aged 18-25 have the right to vote in these elections.  Significant numbers of these are floating voters, with the latest polls indicating that up to 40% of young voters remain undecided just one week before the vote.*

“These floating voters will support candidates committed to addressing the core issues impacting on the lives of young people today. We are encouraging young people to use their vote next Friday to ensure politicians hear their voice,” said James Doorley, NYCI Deputy Director.

Need for candidates to engage with young voters

“We also call on candidates to communicate with young voters and outline what they plan to do to address the concerns and needs of young people. The 2011 general election saw a 12% increase in voter turnout for young people on the previous general election. With large numbers of young people across the country registered and using their vote, politicians need to engage with this important demographic,” said USI President, Joe O’Connor.

“It’s vital that young people go out and vote as it’s one of the best means by which to get politicians and political parties to engage with issues such as youth unemployment, the cost of living, mental health services and many others that impact on the daily lives of young people,” said Ian Power, SpunOut.ie Executive Director.

Today’s calls have come as part of the Promote the Vote campaign run by the NYCI, the USI and SpunOut to encourage young voters to register and to use their vote in the upcoming local and European elections. The organisations are hosting an election hustings debate where young voters can engage with candidates in the Science Gallery, Dublin today (20.05.14), from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm.

 

Sources:

*Sunday Times/Behaviour & Attitudes European Elections May 2014 Opinion Poll 3rd–15th May, 2014. First Preference Support Levels x Age, 18-34:

39% undecided – Dublin European Constituency (page 16) 42% undecided – South European Constituency (page 25) 32% undecided – Midlands-North-West European Constituency (page 32)