12 December 2019 12:39
While polls have indicated that the majority of young voters will support Labour in the general election, voting intentions among 18- to 25-year-olds vary as much as they do among older voters depending on the area. In the Lancastrian seaside town of Morecambe, the Conservatives had a majority of just 1,399 votes in 2017 but Labour hasn't entirely convinced the sixth formers of Morecambe Bay academy. Facebook Twitter Pinterest Ethan Furlong is concerned about Labour building up public debt. Ethan Furlong, 18, said he was voting Conservative because Labour is "all about free everything". His stepdad owns rental properties "and Labour wants to take those houses off him and give them to poor people, which doesn't seem fair because he has been trying to pay off these houses his whole life", he said.
"I like what Labour is trying to do with tuition fees. And I don't like how Labour spends money it doesn't have." "I don't think any sources are reliable," said Hepworth. Samantha Knowles said she thought social media was going to be "the biggest influencer" in the election among young people: YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, "even on Snapchat". At Marple sixth form college in Stockport, two-thirds of students intended to vote Labour and the others were set on the Conservatives. Lucy Reid said she was voting Tory because she thought the result of the EU referendum should be honoured "even though I would have rather remained, because that's what democracy is". That might sound like a lot of money compared to some people but I wouldn't ever call myself middle class because my dad is a manual worker, he's a scaffolder. Facebook Twitter Pinterest Hannah Yates is relaxed about higher taxes as long as they are spent on the NHS or universities. Hannah Yates, a passionate Labour voter in High Peak, said her dad also earned enough to be taxed more: "My dad doesn't mind being taxed that little more if it can go to the NHS or universities – it's not like it's being taken and thrown to the wind … For the working-class people who have to work three jobs to make ends meet, they need all the help they can get." If it wasn't for him, I probably wouldn't vote … My mum works in the NHS and she tells me people are constantly leaving. I remember reading something about nurses using food banks so I support Labour's policy of paying nurses more … I just think Labour's policies are generally geared towards reducing inequality, whereas Conservatives just suit themselves." But Dapo Gabriel Onibudo said he was breaking family tradition by voting Conservative. "Jeremy Corbyn is the main reason I am not voting Labour," he said. "People are always going on about how antisemitic Labour is, when the leader of the Conservative party can be racist against black people, homophobic about gay men and say sexist things about women and have absolutely no punishment at all … he referred to black people having 'watermelon smiles' and referred to gay people as 'croptop-wearing bumboys'." Facebook Twitter Pinterest Isabel Atkins (right) said she would vote Labour despite the party's chances in Twickenham being 'close to none'. All but one of the upper sixth formers the Guardian spoke to at Waldegrave school in Richmond-upon-Thames said they planned to vote Liberal Democrat, many for tactical reasons. The sole dissenter was Isabel Atkins, who will vote Labour for "the redistribution of wealth", despite assessing the party's chances in Twickenham as "close to none". Her parents have not forgiven the Lib Dems for breaking their promise not to increase tuition fees while in coalition with the Conservatives: "I've got four older brothers and they have all gone to university." Some, like Sylvie Sizeland, wanted to support Labour but said there was no point in Richmond: "It would be a wasted vote." She was going to vote tactically to try to oust Goldsmith, "because in the mayoral campaign against Sadiq Khan he made some really racist remarks about Khan". Ami Thakrar said she liked many Labour policies but found them "far-fetched – like the idea of giving free broadband to everyone". Facebook Twitter Pinterest Benjamin Baker says Boris Johnson is 'exceptionally unreliable'. Tèsharn Dundas, 19, said Stormzy was heavily influencing the youth vote after the grime artist signed a letter alongside other musicians backing the Labour leader. "During this election I have seen lots of tweets with people saying they are voting Corbyn because of Stormzy," Dundas said. He added that Corbyn was also appealing because of his policy on scrapping tuition fees and free broadband plan. "He is taking away university fees, and offering free wifi, so yes I think I will vote for him … He is more down to earth too. I don't see the point in voting the Tories in again." Dundas also worries about the future of the NHS under Conservative leadership, with the risk of privatisation. Deandre Holder, 23, said she was most aligned to Labour but that none of the parties really appealed. "I am most aligned with the Labour party … I believe more in Labour's policies but don't know how they can achieve it [all the promises in their manifesto]." Like Dundas, she thinks Stormzy could help sway a lot of young people. "I don't like the Conservatives at all.