In the aftermath of the Scottish Independence Referendum everyone Helen met in Scotland was set on voting in the General Election, but what did Francesca and Alana think would make politics matter more to them as young people?
Author Archive for BFTemp
After our event in Parliament in which first-time voters from up and down the country got to meet various MPs I caught up with Montel from Dudley to see what he thought about politics and politicians in the UK at the moment
While Helen was visiting the constituency of South Thanet, where Nigel Farage and Al Murray are standing as candidates, she visited Ramsgate Football Club and spoke with a couple of the apprentices there, here's what they had to say
As we prepare for a long election campaign with public trust particularly low on the issue of immigration, Sunder Katwala offers some advice to candidates when engaging in the immigration debate – be authentic.
More ethnic minority MPs than ever before will sit in the next parliament, according to new research from British Future, published in the report "The race for representation: how ethnic diversity became the 'new normal' in British politics".
On the road again the Voice of a Generation tour was in Brighton. Famous for its pier, pebble beach, liberal outlook, and since 2010 being the seat of the only Green MP in parliament. We were lucky enough to be able to speak with two different groups of young people, at a YMCA housing project and at the City College.
So why did the young people of Brighton think that there is such a disconnect between themselves and the current political system, highlighted by such low voter turnout amongst the 18-24s? One notion that was raised in both groups related to the perceived insincerity of politicians, particularly in the run-up to the election in May. As Josh (18) said: “at the moment, parties are offering policies as pre-election mood music”. Will from the YMCA echoed a similar sentiment, saying that “The parties are only paying attention now to get votes before the election.” “They go all over the country, do TV debates, do publicity…it’s like a big game really.”
We came across a particularly interesting divide in young people’s opinions on UKIP. On the one hand we witnessed the negativity towards the party that opinion polls nationwide have found among the younger sections of the electorate. Will (20) isn’t sure who to vote for, and doesn’t particularly agree with any one of the main parties. However, he is planning on voting for ‘someone that isn’t UKIP’ as he doesn’t want to see them gain any power in the General Election.
On the other hand we also heard from some first-time voters for whom UKIP represented real change in a political system that they had no faith in. They were happy to discuss immigration as a topic they felt needed addressing in the run-up to the election, highlighting the lack of fairness in the immigration system as a major concern.
In the wake of recent polls putting Green Party support ahead of the Liberal Democrats, one might expect young people in the Greens’ only constituency be well on board with the Green Party message. Yet it was not something that the groups of young people we spoke to particularly knew or cared about.
The students at Brighton and Hove City College were positive about Green Party policies, and, as we have seen in several discussions, the socially focussed and environmentally conscious propositions struck a chord with young voters. Concerns were raised over the ability of the party to actually put any of them into practice though, and Green Party candidate for Brighton Kemptown Davy Jones was inevitably drawn into a discussion defending Natalie Bennett’s disastrous LBC interview under pressure from one student asking “how can you expect us to trust you?”
"I just want people to vote," says 'pub landlord' and wannabe South Thanet MP Al Murray, at a press conference at the New Inn Pub in Sandwich today. "They can vote for me or they can vote for someone else - that's how it works.
New immigration figures: “a quarterly reminder to the public of why they don’t trust politicians on immigration”
Immigration figures have become a quarterly reminder to the public of why they don’t trust politicians on immigration, and will remain so until the government drops its failed net migration target for a more sensible measure
Today is final score time in the Net Migration Cup, as the last set of ONS immigration stats are released before the election. It would be hard to pretend that the crowd is on tenterhooks, argues Sunder Katwala.