Welcome to the new politics where the young ones actually turn out to vote

Welcome to the new politics where the young ones actually turn out to vote

My Tweet at 0924 yesterday

I think that I can claim to to have been amongst the first on election day to have observed and recorded that young people were turning out in much greater numbers than we had seen before.

Even though I’m no longer a party activist I still like to be a teller on polling day spending a couple of hours at one of the polling stations in the part of the marginal seat of Bedford where I have been involved in elections for three decades.

This was my ward and I know the voting patterns extremely well as well as of course many of the voters.

Yesterday at 9 o’clock I took my turn at the polling station housed in rugby ground for my shift as a teller and it was apparent within minutes that something very different was taking place. We were not seeing the usual mix of mostly middle-aged and older voters coming to cast their votes but there was also a significant and steady trickle of young ones as well many of them voting for the very first time.

This was so striking that I tweeted the above that got widely circulated on social media.

    Almost all the forecast assumptions ahead of yesterday’s dramatic election were based on the assumption that the youngest age groups do not vote at anything like the scale of those who are older than them.

    Well that changed dramatically and we must assume for the future that this is going to be the pattern. The young have now worked out that if they are to get a better deal from society they need to be using their political clout to the full.

This meant, of course, that the pollsters who have created turnout models in the wake of the 2015 polling failure find themselves on the wrong end of the polling accuracy table.

Applying 2015 assumptions to the election two years later simply didn’t work anymore and we have to come to terms with that.

An incredible election and the next few days will be fascinating as we watch events pan out.

Mike Smithson

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