Why are young people not voting?


Effective government is a key part of achieving one of the main pillars of SDG 16 – strong institutions. 

Voting is important to fair and democratic elections, but traditionally voting among the 18 to 30 age group, is low with turn-out figures well below other age groups. 

However, this generalisation masks an even more worrying problem that one of De Montfort University’s projects for SDG 16 aims to address. 

A report by the Lords Select Committee on Citizenship and Civic Engagement (April 2018) found: “There is no turnout gap between young people of high social grade or in full-time education and the average UK citizen. 

“The problem, more precisely defined, involves the non-participation of young people from deprived backgrounds or of low socio-economic status.” 

There is a need for targeted action in communities that are marginalised and left behind, reported the committee to Government. 

In parliamentary elections, the turn-out is among the lowest in the country in Leicester West, where just 53.6% (67.3% was the national average) voted in the 2019 General Election. 

No figures are available for voting in the 18-30 age group in Leicester West, but all the statistical evidence would point to the fact that they are very poor indeed. 

A study has now started by politics students at De Montfort University to assess the scale of the problem, and then establish ways of engaging with this ‘hard-to-reach’ age group in Leicester West. 

Events will be held on the city’s New Parks estate, in Leicester West to talk to young non-voters to help establish a plan of what can be done, which will then be shared to help address a world-wide problem.