A third of young people are not planning to vote in the General Election this year, but 75% of that number would if they could do so by text or online as they can with The X-Factor or Britain's Got Talent.
According to a survey by mobile phone price comparison website www.rightmobilephone.co.uk , some 36% of young people aged 18-25 are not intending to visit a polling station and cast their vote. But 76% of them said they would be more likely to take part if they could place their vote via text message or through a Facebook page or even on Twitter.
When asked, ‘are you planning to vote in the General Election this year?’ more than a third said they wouldn’t. 42% claimed they didn’t really understand politics enough to vote, whilst 51% said they couldn’t be bothered to take the time to go to the polling stations. The remaining 7% said they thought their vote wouldn’t make a difference, therefore deeming it unnecessary.
Two thirds of the respondents, 66%, said that they had placed votes on a reality TV show such as Big Brother or Dancing on Ice in the past using their mobile, a higher percentage than those who said they would vote in the General Election this year.
Despite high profile concerns about the security and privacy implications of social media, some 19% of the 18-25 demographic said they weren’t concerned about privacy issues and other people finding out who they voted for. But there was some acknowledgement of the potential for identity theft and electoral fraud as 24% of respondents admitted that there could be issues with people voting more than once.
"As our results prove social media and mobile phones could be a very powerful way for political parties to interact and communicate with this generation,” said Neil McHugh, co-founder of rightmobilephone.co.uk. ”Twitter, Facebook and YouTube weren’t as established in previous elections, but now provide a far reaching platform for any political party who are savvy enough to include them in their election strategy. As for voting via your mobile phone, the concept is great but I think we are a few years away yet. Obviously privacy and security issues would be a concern along with the margin for error, but hopefully in the future it’s something that can be overcome and get more of the population making a difference."
Certainly the respondents in the survey reckons a voting revolution is inevitable with 89% of the total respondents saying they thought voting via text would be possible after the next General Election. Some progress has been made already in the US, albeit with campaigning rather than voting, according to Alberto Nardelli, founder of Tweetminster.co.uk , a service which aims to make politics more transparent by giving users access to the Twitter posts from MPs and politicians.
"In the US, mobile campaigning played a central role in the past election, especially in terms of engaging and mobilising first time voters,” he said. “It's surprising than in the UK none of the parties place mobile at the core of their campaigns, more importantly in a context where young voters and first-time voters can be decisive, it will be interesting to see which party first experiments with mobile."
"Young voters do count , and the more of you that do vote will change the opinions of the people in politics .
We must remember our history of women in this country for years went unnoticed, so a large group of women, calling themselves the suffragettes . Sacrificed their lives to change the opinions of people in political power, by either throwing themselves onto the paths of running horses , or chaining themselves to railings, their point was to change the way society viewed women, which at the time were classed as second class to men.
Any group of people not using their right to vote, will make your group go unnoticed, and no change will ever take place ever !
But the young voter has already been given the chance to vote, so please use this right to change anything that you don't feel happy with in your life.
Your vote is counted
and does matter to the way our political system works in the UK."
Q:What age can you vote in UK?
A: The voting age in the UK is 18. It was lowered from 21 in 1969.
Some groups are campaigning for it to be lowered to 16.
So please use it or you may loose it !
ON 6th May 2010
And put it your
cross where it counts
If you are going for the first time, don't be afraid to ask the people there what to do !
Your online step by step to votinghttp://www.portsmouth.gov.uk/media/StepbyStepGuidetoVoting.pdf
A national record of how young people would vote,
with detailed lesson plans for citizenship and general studies teachers.
Find out more at