The widely circulated claim there was a 72 per cent turnout amongst young voters last week has been debunked by the first major survey on the demographics of who voted in the general election.
However, the YouGov survey did reveal age, instead of class, to be the new “key predictor of voting intentions in UK politics”, with the young much more likely to back Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party than older people.
According to the study, turnout was 57 per cent amongst 18 to 19-year-olds and 59 per cent for 20 to 25-year-olds. This means it was 14 per cent lower than early “estimates” of 72 per cent.
72% turnout for 18-25 year olds. Big up yourselves 👊👏 #GE2017
— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) June 9, 2017
Despite this representing a clear increase in youth turnout on 2015 (when it was 41 per cent), young people are still noticeably less likely to vote than older people. A significant 84 per cent of those over 70 turned out to vote.
Young people, meanwhile, were also much more likely to back Labour.
Amongst 18 and 19-year-old first-time voters, Labour was 47 percentage points ahead. And for those aged over 70, the Conservatives had a lead of 50 percentage points.
“In fact, for every 10 years older a voter is, their chance of voting Tory increases by around nine points and the chance of them voting Labour decreases by nine points,” YouGov explained.
“The tipping point, that is the age at which a voter is more likely to have voted Conservative than Labour, is now 47 – up from 34 at the start of the campaign.”
— YouGov (@YouGov) June 13, 2017
The class divide in British politics, meanwhile, seems to have closed and it is no longer a very good indicator of voting intention.
The Tories did better with both those at the very top of the socioeconomic divide and those at the bottom – and significantly better amongst the so-called C2 group representing “skilled manual workers”.
Conversely, education was a fairly good indicator, with the more highly educated, particularly those who had been to university, more likely to vote for the Labour Party.