Saturday, January 18News For London

UK divided: the huge intergenerational gap in the 2019 general election

Vote ballot. (Image: El Paso County Vote Archives)

This year’s election results bring to the light the very clear political divide amongst the generations, changing the British electoral map completely.

On the morning hours of Friday 13 December, the general election results were revealed to the public with Boris Johnson and the Conservative party winning with 365 seats to Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party’s 203 seats.

The Conservative party exceeded the number of seats needed for the majority, leaving the Labour party with a loss that was considered one of the most devastating losses since the 1935 election.

Since the 2016 Brexit EU Referendum and the 2017 general election, there had been a spike in younger voters and their involvement in politics over the years. While the new generation of voters had high hopes for this year’s election, the previous generations’ votes had surpassed them.

After this election and having the Conservative party the majority vote for the third year in a row, it is very clear that there has been a huge shift in British politics.

The Labour party has already lost its majority vote in the northern and traditional heartlands but during this election, has lost some of the more liberal boroughs in London.

Does age matter?

In a poll done by Lord Ashcroft, with approximately 13,000 people on the day of the election, there is a clear divide amongst the age groups. The Labour party had secure 57% of the 18-24 year old voters and 55% of the 25-34 while the Conservative party managed to secure high percentages in the 55-64 and 62% amongst the 65 and over age range. There was a clear division in voting preferences.

Poll taken on election day 13 December. (Image: Lord Ashcroft Polls).

Kamran, 30, a Labour party voter and resident of Hackney, visibly upset after discovering the results, said: “I’m not surprised by the result, but I am disappointed by it. It feels like a lack of foresight. I understand that a lot of older voters were swayed by a desire to leave the European Union, but I’m worried this Conservative government’s continued neglect of public services will leave a lasting impact on generations to come. I really think it’s time the Government seriously considered lowering the voting age.”

Backed by Jeremy Corbyn, the question as to whether or not the voting age should be lowered to 16 has come into play once again. Based on the results from just this poll alone, the Conservative party would not benefit from this and has adamantly been against the idea since it was brought up back in 2017 by Labour MP Jim McMahon.

Celia, 72, resident of Bromley feels that the country must try and put the generational divide behind them. She said: “It might not be the result that many younger voters were hoping for, but we live in a democracy, so the results of a general election have to be accepted. Senior citizens have as much a right to have a say on the future as anyone else. The Government won a clear majority, so hopefully the entire country can get behind the Prime Minister.”

The Conservative party won the majority vote for the third year in a row with Boris Johnson continuing as the Prime Minister.