- Labour Party and Business: A Difficult Relationship?
- Chameleon Conservative Cameron Shows True Colours
- An Election Reflection for a Majority Minority
- Mhairi Black: Giving Politics a Makeover
- Galloway Threatens Legal Action Over Election Result
- Voter Turnout: What The Numbers Tell Us About The 2015 General Election
- Looking At The Reaction to the Election Explains its Result
- The Polls Were Wrong Because People Lied, it’s That Simple!
- Russell Brand “Resigns” from Politics following General Election Result
- It’s Not The Cold War Anymore, We Don’t Need a Nuclear Deterrent
- The Future of Labour: Who Will Be The Next Leader?
- The Future of the Liberal Democrats: Who Will Be the Next Leader?
- The Future of UKIP: Who Will Be the Next Leader?
- A Tale of Three Ends
- The Tory Legacy
- If the Party Leaders were characters from Friends…who would you vote for?
- The Ten (Well, Six) Commitments: Is Stone Legally Binding?
- Tuition Fees: A Hollow Attempt to Pander to the Student Vote?
- 6,417 Ed Milligrams – What Do You Actually Vote For?
- Boris Johnson to become Gangster Rapper
- Political Engagement: The Calm After the Storm
- Parliamentary Candidate Interview: Green Party’s John Spottiswoode.
- Parliamentary Candidate Interviews: TUSC’s Sue Atkins
- Parliamentary Candidate Interview, Independent Candidate Chris Daviss
- “I don’t think the Liberal Democrats should be in government just for the sake of it” – An Interview With Nick Clegg
- Parliamentary Candidate Interview, TUSC’s Nick Chaffey
- Parliamentary Candidate Interview: Conservative’s Jeremy Moulton.
- Should Young People Be Made To Vote?
- The Nationalist Parties
- No Votes for Women?
- None of the Political Candidates Ticking Your Box? There is Another Option.
- The Other Parties
- Liberal Democrats Party Profile
- The Green Party
- Labour Party Profile
- In Defence of the Coalition
- Why Labour Should Win the Election But Won’t
- The Protest Vote: The Weapon of the Disenfranchised.
- Why Young People Must Use Their Vote
- An Interview With Natalie Bennett
- What Will a Multi-Party System Mean for Britain?
- Tuition Fees: Must Try Harder Ed
- Science and Policy
- This Election is Far Bigger Than Party Politics
- Parliamentary Candidate Interviews: Ian Callaghan, Green Party
- Parliamentary Candidate Interviews: Lib Dem’s Adrian Ford
- Paliamentary Candidate Interview – Labour’s Darren Paffey
- Parliamentary Candidates Interviews: Lib Dem’s Eleanor Bell
- TV Debates: The Crucifixion of David Cameron
- Parliamentary Candidate Interview – Labour’s Rowenna Davis
- Parliamentary Candidate Interview, the Green Party’s Angela Mawle
- Can We Trust Politicians Who Act Like Schoolchildren?
- Parliamentary Candidate Interview – UKIP’s Sandra James
- Manifesto Focus: Labour
- Why Nuclear Weapons Are Imperative For The UK’s Security
- Southampton’s Role in the General Election Should Not Be Overshadowed by a Sausage Roll
- Just When You Thought UKIP Couldn’t Do Anything Right…
- What the Hell Do You Want?
- Which Political Leader Are You?
- The EU: To Be or Not To Be
- Your 2015 General Election Candidates
- What a Silly Sausage: Southampton UKIP Candidate Accused of Bribery
- UKIP Party Profile
- Conservative Party Profile
- The Leaders Debate: The Insurgents, The Pretender & The Incumbent
- SUPA’s Short and Sweet Guide to Voting on 7th May
- TV Debate: Clash of the Titans
- Leaders Debate Brings Hope For Progressive Politics
- TV Debates: David Cameron and Ed Miliband Versus Britain
- 14,000 Voters Missing From Electoral Role in Southampton – Register to Vote Now!
- Men’s Rights Party Set To Contest in General Elections
- A Royal Coup? – Queen Guitarist Brian May Considering Standing for Election
- Debating Over Debates
- Galloway Demands Inclusion in TV Debates
- The General Election 2015 – A Disunited Kingdom?
- 99 Days To Go: The Most Unpredictable Election Yet!
- Poll Indicates Demand for Green Party to be Included in Election Debates
- Have You Registered To Vote?
- Is Sol Campbell running for Parliament?
- Salmond to Stand as MP
- Students May Hold the Key!
- The Green Party Should Not Be Included in the 2015 General Election Debates
- Parliamentary Candidate Interview: Alan Whitehead MP
- What’s at Stake for Students in the General Election?
- It’s Time For Politicians To Get Down With The Kids
- The Debates Debate
- Who Will Run The Country in 2015?
- New Year, New Government? New Politics?
- Newly Elected Itchen MP Accused of Helping UKIP Secure Labour Votes
Often we’re told this will be the General Election of health and wealth, with Labour fighting to save the NHS and the Tories vowing to save the economy. By and large, these are issues that effect the elder part of the electorate, and why? Because they turn out to vote.
But it would be stupid to ignore the youth vote. There are around three million young people eligible to vote in May, which could easily swing the election. But in 2010, only 44% of 18-24 year olds voted, and only 29% are certain to vote this year, compared to 72% of those over 65 – according to Lord Ashcroft.
So what have the 5 biggest parties actually promised for the youth?
Labour and Greens have recently announced plans to lower the voting age to 16, something Lib Dems supported in their 2010 manifesto. The Lib Dems have secured £10 million from the Cabinet Office to encourage students to vote. It’s no doubt they want to engage us youth.
The post-grad loans promised by the Tories has won limited support for Cameron and Osbourne, but the lack of definition around the policy has meant this is limited. UKIP hope to reform further education, introducing an option for apprenticeship qualifications at GCSE, which can be continued through to A-level. They’ve also promised to remove tuition fees – but only for certain ‘approved’ degrees in science, medicine, technology, engineering and maths, and, only on the condition that students live, work and pay tax in the UK for five years after they complete their degree – aiming to lower the amount of University places, abolishing the target of 50% of school leavers to continue to University. Unsurprisingly, UKIP want students to pay the same student fee rates as international students.
The Green Party have promised double spending on youth services, and would fight to end tuition fees completely similar to elsewhere in Europe. They also plan to reinstate the EMA for 16-18 year olds. Although plans are sketchy, it’s generally believed the Labour will reduce fees to £6,000 a year, and the Tories could allow it to be raised to up to £16,000 a year.
Like UKIP, the Conservatives are also looking to invest in apprenticeships, spending £3 million on apprenticeships for young people by 2020. Labour too have set goals to get more people doing apprenticeships by 2025, such that every firm that wishes to gain a major government contract to offer high-quality apprenticeships.
The Conservatives and Labour have both pledged to reform zero-hour contracts, which could effect a lot of young people. Further, Labour have vowed to ban unpaid internships that last more than four-weeks, meaning they would need to be paid at at least the minimum wage. The Green Party have said they will spend £5bn on creating 350,000 training places, in particular to 700,000 unemployed people and the youth unemployed. Further, they’d make a £10 minimum wage.
The Tories and Lib Dem have also pledged to raise the personal allowance to £12,500 which will help graduates on low salaries, this sounds great, but there are concerns it could favour the wealthy.
The Starter Homes Initiative by the Conservatives could be hugely beneficial, it aims to give 100,00 first-time buyers, who are under 40 the opportunity to buy a new home at a 20% discount.
Lib Dem’s are one of the only parties that have addressed the issue of the rising cost of public transport, offering a young person’s bus pass for 16-21 year olds, meaning fares would be reduced by a minimum of two thirds.
So maybe this won’t be the election of health and wealth after all, and maybe, for the first time in years politicians are listening to 18-24 year olds. This will only happen if you turn out and vote.
Images by Jess Cox.