Hope lies with the youth!

December 30, 2014 at 4:36 pm (Europe, Feminism, Human rights, immigration, Jim D, labour party, scotland, youth)

Opinium/Observer poll: what young people are thinkingOpinium/Observer poll: what young people are thinking. Click here for large version

While much of the media is entranced by Nigel Farage (The Times even naming him “Briton of the Year”), it seems that young people in the UK have seen through his unpleasant charlatan and his ultra-reactionary party.

According to a poll by ‘Opinium’, commissioned by The Observer, Farage is the least popular political leader among those who will be able to vote for the first time in the forthcoming general election.

Young people aged between 17 and 23 are overwhelmingly pro-European, socially liberal (eg in favour of gay marriage and retaining the Human Rights Act), and much more likely to call themselves “feminist” (40% of both genders) than older voters (25%). Nearly half (48%) regard immigration as a good thing. Only 3% would vote for Ukip, with the Lib Dems on 6%, the Greens on 19%, the Tories on 26% and Labour in a clear lead at 41%.

Sadly, 65% would retain the monarchy, but us old lefties can’t have everything our own way, can we? Hopefully, the youngsters will learn on that one.

And, it must be noted, things look much less encouraging in Scotland, where Labour’s election of the craven Blairite Jim Murphy has proved to be the gift to the SNP that many of us warned it would be: as things stand (according to a Guardian/ICM online poll) Sturgeon’s nationalist fake-leftists stand to take 45 of Scotland’s 59 Westminster constituencies reducing Scottish Labour to a parliamentary rump of just 10 MPs (presently it’s 41). With Murphy at the helm, it’s difficult to work up much enthusiasm for a Labour vote in Scotland, and we’re reduced to making the (true, but uninspiring) point that every seat won by the SNP will make it less likely that Labour will win a majority, and more likely that the Tories will be able to hang on in there.

Depressing eh? So let’s comfort ourselves, for now, with the knowledge that, on most issues at least, the nation’s youth are pro-European, socially liberal, have no time for Farage and are likely to vote Labour in May.

So there are some grounds for hope for 2015, and beyond, comrades!


  1. justiceforkevinandjenveybaylis said,

  2. damon said,

    I’d say that it’s maybe that these young people don’t have much experience yet, or are following ”right on” trends.
    Mehdi Hasan wrote in the New Statesman recently, an article titled: ”I was a teenage Europhile – but the EU’s sadistic austerity and lack of democracy changed my mind.”
    But will many younger people be taking views like that on board?

    On Ukip, they may definitely see that the party attracts a lot of oddballs, and that Farage is ”weird”. But then Ukip have had a media hatchet job done on them as well. Like the James O’Brien LBC interview for example, or that Michael Crick from Channel 4 News, going looking to make headlines with his door stepping techniques.

    When people say that ”immigration is good” – do they mean that Britain will be better with seventy plus million people? If they do that’s fair enough.

    As for feminist, does that mean like the Guardian’s Jessica Valenti with the Rolling Stone rape story?

    And as for the latest fad, that seems to be something called ”microaggerssion”.
    Have you heard of that one? Young people often get things wrong.

    See here:

  3. Jim Denham said,

    Mehdi Hasan’s opinion on Europe is just stupid, and/or opportunist. I asked the man to state whether he thought the left should campaign for withdrawal from Europe: he didn’t answer.

    • damon said,

      He makes his case, and whether to be in Europe or not is quite a complex issue. More than I can understand to be honest and I’ve been reading about it for decades. What information will young people have been following about Europe? Reading the newspapers and serious magazines, or just picking up on trends from bite sized bits of news on the internet?

      It used to be that being against being in the EU was pitched as being bigoted. In Ireland I remember arguments like that ten years ago when they had some big EU referendum. If you didn’t vote Yes, you were said to be small minded. Their equivalent of a little Englander.

      Are young people up with all this and still thinking it’s in Britain’s interest to be in it? Or is it more just about wanting to be able to travel without visas? I don’t think we’d need visas to visit the rest of Europe btw.

      It’s great though that over time, people have become more socially liberal, but on specifics and detail and there can still be a lot to be desired. And the tactics that can be quite successful in driving liberal change can be so dishonest. Just see Mehdi Hasan’s New Statesman article article titled; Five questions for anyone who says “it’s not racist to talk about immigration”

      To read the reader’s comments under that, plainly shows how politicised and partisan such ”debates” have become.
      They’re obviously not debates at all, but a contest of wills.
      How are young people supposed to come to any decision about such issues, when older people behave like that?
      What they’ll do more likely is take a position in view of the kind of diversity at school or college they enjoy.
      They certainly won’t be taking Migration Watch’s position into consideration. (Which may be a good thing of course).

  4. les said,

    so most young people in the uk are now teetotaling budget-slashing fiscally conservative yet socially liberal monarchists. i notice according to your chart, that the big issue on the mind of british yoof is the nhs. yet, according to that same chart they seem to prefer cutting government spending rather than raise taxes. isn’t that a formula for some monstrous privatization scheme somewhere down the road? but what do i know. i’m just some drunken yank with a cast-iron liver.

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