NTU politics lecturer Matt Ashton

Voter registrations have surged in the run-up to this election.

Many from younger voters – prompting some to predict they could play a massive – so far unpredicted – role in the result.

NTU Election Special spoke to Nottingham Trent University politics expert Matt Ashton to hear if he thinks a “youthquake” is likely.

Lecturer Matt – an expert in British, European and US politics – said this election had seen an increase in young voter registrations.

But Matt says their impact may not be as great as some had hoped – or feared.

He said: “Whether sufficient numbers of young people would actually come out to vote, that is a big question.

“About 600, 000 new people registered in 2017 and this time I think it’s about 1.6 million.

“But we live in an electoral system where 14 million people, their seat hasn’t changed party since 1945, unless you’ve got massive numbers of young people totalling in particular areas.

“You need more young people in middle England to make a difference, more rural seats.”

As with the Scottish Independence referendum campaign there were calls from those on the centre-left of politics for 16-year-olds to be able to vote, potentially giving left-wing parties more support.

But again, Matt says the concentrations of young voters in mostly Labour or Lib Dem seats.

They might increase a safe majority but not be able to affect more rural constituencies.

Matt added: “Apart from the obvious increase in the size of the franchise and there being more people voting, it probably would benefit the left-wing parties more than the conservatives.

“However, an awful lot of young people are grouped together in urban areas where the young tend to vote left wing already anyway, it is debatable whether it would make that much difference. “

So, in terms of how young people should vote, Matthew suggested that more left-wing parties such as the Labour party are addressing younger people’s issues in their manifesto’s.

Matt added: “I think in terms of younger issues, we talked about progressive issues, so Brexit.

“A lot of young people care about that in terms of the economy, in terms of being able to live or work abroad.

“In particular though, climate, Extinction Rebellion and what’s going to happen to the future, because this is a planet they are going to live in.

“Issues like trans gender rights, homelessness. Young people tend to care more about sensual issues.”

Find your local polling station at: https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/voter/your-election-information