Young people reveal the reasons they voted in the 2017 general election

NME's exit poll highlighted the areas that were most important to young voters this year

Young people have revealed the main reasons why they voted in the 2017 general election and their motives behind choosing a particular party.

NME conducted its own nationally representative, pre-election research. The figures obtained by The Stream focused on a nationally representative panel of millennials, surveying 1,354 respondents in total, all aged between 18-34.

The NME-led exit poll of young people asked participants what their main reasons for voting the way they did were. The biggest factor for those surveyed was preferring one party’s policies over another’s, with 37.3% citing that as a big reason.

Health and social care policy was the second biggest reason for voting for a particular party, with 29.8% giving that as an answer. Leadership also played a big part – 28.7% said they voted the way they did because they preferred a certain leader and thought they would make a better Prime Minister.

Other deciding factors were who was best to navigate Britain through Brexit (25.8%), education policy (25.6%), immigration policy (19.8%) and security policy (18.7%).

Only 4.6% of those asked said they voted for a party because their friends did, while 8.2% said their family’s political preferences influenced their vote.

The NME exit poll also found 56% of 18-34s voted in yesterday’s election (June 8), with 53% of those aged between 18 and 24 turning out, +12% points on the audience’s turnout of 41% in 2015.  60% of 18–34s said they voted Labour, with two-thirds of those aged 18–24 voting for Jeremy Corbyn’s party.

The poll found that 36% were first time voters, that half of 18–24s went to the polls with a friend or family member and that Brexit was the main deciding factor driving those to vote.

Mike Williams, NME editor-in-chief, says: “A lot of talk during this election has been about whether young people would bother to get out and vote. They did, in huge numbers, and on a scale not seen in the UK in recent years. We at NME are incredibly proud to see this, and it’s further proof that young people in the UK are massively engaged with politics in 2017.”

“While this is really encouraging, there is still a significant amount of apathy within the 18-24 group that needs addressing. Politicians across all parties need to do more to engage the young voters of the future, because ensuring that their voices are heard and that their needs are central to manifestos is vital for a fair and progressive society. Keep believing, we’re heading in the right direction.”

Since the snap election was announced NME has been surveying young people, launching a campaign called ‘My Plus One’ to encourage young people to take a friend with them to the polling stations.