Here's how many young people ACTUALLY voted in the referendum

The turnout amongst young people in the EU referendums could almost be double what was initially reported, according to new figures from the London School of Economics.

Since the referendum, it's been widely reported that only 36% of young people turned out to vote. This was based on information released by Sky Data.

A lot of people took it as proof that the young had themselves for the result...

But other people were skeptical...

Because judging by how vocal young people have been about their support of the EU, you'd think they'd have turned out and voted.


Well now it turns out that these figures, which have been used all over the media in the last few weeks, may have been entirely inaccurate.

A poll conducted by Opinium since the referendum, and analysed by the London School of Economics (LSE) has estimated that the actual figure is around 64%.

Professors from LSE told the Guardian that the estimate of 36% by Sky Data was very low compared to their figure. They said the figure was low because it was based on information compiled after last year's general election, which looked at what proportion of different generations said they always vote.

The new figures, which estimated that 64% of young people voted, were based on a new poll of 2,002 people, conducted after the referendum took place. It looked at how people voted in the referendum, rather than previous voting habits.

The result is that it showed 64% of 18-24 year olds voted, and 65% of 25-39 year olds. They were still outvoted by older voters (who outnumber them) but by no means showed apathy over the EU in the numbers that have been reported over the last few weeks.

Say what you will about whether the young were right to vote to remain in the EU, and figures say that 71% of the young voted to remain, this new poll suggest that they definitely cared enough to vote.

Why is this important?

Professor Michael Bruter and Dr Sarah Harrison said in their report that it was important to note that the young voted for two main reasons, and questioned whether we'd be in a very different political situation right now if 16-17 year olds had been allowed to vote too:

“The question of whether young people voted or not is politically important for two critical reasons."

"First, because there continues to be a significant proportion of younger voters who say that they are unhappy with the result of the referendum and want to be heard, and one of the key arguments that has been made in answer to them is that they should have bothered to vote if they cared that much."

"And, second, because the government chose not to give the right to vote to 16- and 17-year-olds in the referendum."

"It is fair to ask whether allowing them to vote could have changed the result of the referendum or not.”

“Allowing 16-to-17-year-olds a vote would have added nearly 1.6 million potential citizens to the electorate, but it is of course extraordinarily difficult to know if it might have affected the outcome of the referendum. On balance, the results of our surveys on the turnout of 18-to-24-year-olds would suggest that it would not have been enough to overturn the result of the referendum … but it would have almost certainly reduced the advantage of Leave to such a point (likely less than 500,000 votes) that the very concept of a majority would have been highly controversial.”

Regardless of whether this would have affected the outcome of the referendum, next time someone tells you that young people didn't vote you can say "yes, yes we did."

Like this? Check out what happened when this student bet his entire student loan betting on the outcome of the referendum...

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