Election 2017: Barking and Dagenham College students discuss general election

Barking and Dagenham College students have spoken about the general election Picture: Rui Vieira/ PA

Barking and Dagenham College students have spoken about the general election Picture: Rui Vieira/ PA Images - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Things need to be done to make young people more aware of the general election, according to Barking and Dagenham College students.

First time voters have admitted they are unsure of who they would choose on June 8 - or that an election was even taking place.

Leah Warman, 18, studying public services said: “The way the election is talked about is too difficult to understand.

“I’m not interested in politics so I’ve never been interested in learning about the election.”

Out of those who did plan to vote, a majority said they would be voting Labour.


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Students were keen to express their opinion that the younger voting demographic is not educated enough about government and politics.

Rebecca Grace, 20, studying music said: “I don’t even know how to vote.

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“There are skills we could be taught about government that could help us in later life, like how to vote or manage our taxes.

“We’re expected to learn everything about it from the news, but the way it is expressed is difficult to understand.”

Tawana Duncan, 19, studying social work, suggested some ideas for what the government should be focusing on to appeal to younger voters:

She said: “They need to focus more on young people and helping us. They should do workshops in the college to increase awareness of politics and elections.”

This news comes despite a huge increase in 18 to 24-year-olds registering to vote in the days after the election was announced on April 18.

In the first three days, over 100,000 young people signed up, with some wondering if this was in response to Brexit, which saw a 64 per cent turnout.

Figures published on Ipsos Mori show election turnout among 18 to 24-year-olds has remained relatively stable since 1997, with around 30-40pc of young voters taking to the polls.

It seemed that despite recent changes, the older generation are still the most informed about politics and the election.

Ola Smith, 44, who studies business, said: “I feel this election has come around because people feel they have made a mistake voting for Brexit, but it has come too late.”

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