You can no longer register to vote in this years election but will we see a change in the amount of students who filled out the form before last nights deadline?
Did you register to vote? Well if you didn’t, you’ve missed your opportunity. Hundreds of thousands of people will have registered and will be thinking about who they want to lead the general election on the 7th May 2015.
Students also have the chance to be part of this years election but many are uneducated in politics and don’t realise that certain changes could affect them.
The credit checking company Experian revealed data that showed the number of 18 year olds who registered to vote fell by 47% between 2013 – 2014. In December 2013 511,353 18 year olds were registered to vote, however, only 272,995 registered last year. It is believed this could be due to the introduction of the Individual Electoral Registration system which requires students to register themselves.
Richard Metcalf who studies Fashion, Communication and Promotion at Nottingham Trent University, said: ‘I don’t vote because I don’t understand what’s going on and I’m not educated enough in it’.
However, Jordan Little who studies Psychology and Sociology also at Nottingham Trent had a different opinion. She said: ‘If you don’t vote you’re not going to make a change and I think there’s a lot of changes that need to be made at the moment’.
Voting isn’t broadcasted widely enough to encourage students to want to vote and understand that decisions that different parties make could affect them. Students socialise and receive most of their information online through social networking. Politics don’t tend to highlight their changes in this way which is what could be stopping students from receiving the vital information.
Karen Nicholson, Politics expert, said: ‘I don’t think many young people are aware of the key issues in the election.’
‘That is because I don’t think politicians are addressing important issues for Under 25’s. I think they are focusing their arguments on older age groups that they know are going to turn out to vote.’
‘What they are trying to do is to persuade those voters not to turn out but to vote for them.’
It’s clear that the reason for a decrease in the number of students registering to vote last year could be down to lack of knowledge. Unless politics change the way they put across their decisions and changes through social networking then it’s unlikely that the amount of student voters will increase.
However, for those of you who managed to register on time, make sure the next couple of weeks are spent thinking wisely about what party you want to vote for.