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UK Insights

One in seven young people say they will definitely vote in the upcoming General Election

Luke Taylor

Head of Social and Political Attitudes

GE 03.05.2017 / 16:00

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A Kantar Public view on the 2017 General Election

Continuing patterns seen at previous elections, just 14% of young people aged 18-24 say they will definitely vote in the upcoming UK General Election, and 57% of this age group say they will probably or definitely not vote. This is in stark contrast to older generations with 79% of over 65s saying they will definitely vote, alongside 50% of 55-64s and 48% of 45-54s.

Overall voting intention remains broadly stable with the Conservatives still ahead on 48% (+2), Labour trails behind on 24% (NC), with the Liberal Democrats on 11% (NC) and UKIP on 7% (-1). As seen in the first Kantar Public poll of the General Election campaign, the Liberal Democrats continue to benefit from plans for tactical voting. Nearly one in three (30%) of those who plan to vote Liberal Democrat in this election say they are not voting for the party they actually want to win the election, compared to just 4% of those who plan to vote Conservative and 5% of those who plan to vote Labour.

However, the significant variation in planned turnout by age has different implications for the two main parties.  As seen at previous elections, younger voters are far more likely than average to intend to vote Labour (48% of likely voters aged 18-24), and older voters are far more likely than average to say they will vote Conservative (70% of likely voters aged over 65).

Over the last week we have also been monitoring the official Twitter and Facebook accounts of the main political parties to understand how social media users are engaging with their campaigns. @UKLabour has been much more active than @Conservatives on Twitter (with 69 tweets in the last week compared to 28) and they have also been getting five times as many retweets as the Conservative party over this period (thanks to their 390,000 followers). Our engagement index also highlights that the Labour Party and their supporters are very active on Facebook. Compared with the Conservatives, they post more, and their posts are shared and ‘liked’ more frequently.

The Labour Party is relatively popular among younger people and this is also the demographic group which is most active on social media. It therefore does not come as too much of a surprise that the Labour party has the most engaged supporters on Twitter and Facebook. The challenge for Labour remains how to convert this enthusiasm into votes; younger people tend to turn out at much lower levels than older people at General Elections and the early indications are that this election will be no different.

Source : Kantar Public

Editor's Notes

In order to have a better understanding of electoral trends and movements and to highlight the key factors of confidence and/or uncertainties our electoral research and analyses are based on multiple sources (polls and social media).

Voting intentions reflect the state of the opinion at the moment when the interviews were realised and should therefore not be considered as predictive of the final result of the election.


Download the survey data and further details on the methodological approach here.

1,205 interviews were conducted online among adults living in Great Britain between the 27th April and 2nd May 2017. Interviews were conducted using the Kantar TNS Omnibus, which uses the Lightspeed access panel as its sample source.

The data was weighted to match population totals for age, gender, working status, 2015 General Election voting patterns, 2016 EU referendum voting patterns, education, region, and likelihood to vote in the next General Election. Our voting intention figures have been adjusted to take into account likely turnout patterns at the General Election


Download the social media data and further details on the methodological approach here.

The Facebook analysis is based on the interactions with the official Facebook pages of the main political parties and their leaders between the 24th and 30th April 2017.

The Twitter analysis is based on the “buzz” generated by original tweets authored by the official Twitter accounts of the main political parties and their leaders between the 24th April and 1st May 2017.


For more information, or to interview Luke Taylor, please contact us.

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