YouGov: only 31% of young voters will back Labour

YouGov: only 31% of young voters will back Labour

    It’s a three-way split amongst the 18-24 year olds

A poll of 18-24 year-olds by YouGov in the Telegraph shows that Labour is failing to make an impact amongst young voters – which in the past has been one of the party’s strongest areas of support.

The split was LAB 31: CON 31: LD 30 and is in sharp contrast to a similar survey before the 1997 Election which recorded about half in this age group supporting Labour.

But turnout amongst this age group could be very low. The survey had just 42 per cent of first-time voters saying they will vote for a political party, which is 4% less than those saying they had voted for contestants in shows such as Big Brother and Pop Idol.

    A key problem for Labour is that a campaign based on not letting the Tories back in does not easily resonate with new voters. Today’s 18 year-olds were just 3 when Margaret Thatcher left Downing Street.

More than half said that they did not know what a “constituency” was and nearly half said they had no idea who would make the best prime minister. There is some confort for Labour from those that did because 21% said Tony Blair, 10% Michael Howard and 8% Charles Kennedy.

On issues they were worried about 81% said higher taxes, 75% the NHS, 68% global warming and 66% the prospect of further wars like Iraq.

In their normal polls YouGov do not show figures for the 18-24 age range so it’s hard to make comparisons. Communicate Research do and in their last survey eight days ago had Labour 40%, Tory 29% and Lib Dems 23%. But the unweighted total of young voters was just 48 so it would be dangerous reading too much into that data. The last Populus Poll, a month ago, had 54 young voters and who split Labour 32%, Tory 24% and Lib Dem 32%.

Meanwhile there’s been almost no movement in the spread-betting markets as punters hold off ahead of next week’s budget. IG Index have LAB 354-361: CON 193-200: LD 67-71.

© Mike Smithson 2005

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