Polls apart: Young voters and the election policies that ignore them

Polls apart: Young voters and the election policies that ignore them

Polls apart: Young voters and the election policies that ignore them

By 2025, Millennials will make up three quarters of the workforce. So where are the policies in the upcoming Victorian State election that support the future of these young voters?

Youth-segment marketing specialists, Lifelounge, deep-dive into the minds of young Australians to find out what makes them tick. This week, we examine their attitudes to politics, and their apparent lack of interest in the democratic process.

For many Victorian 18-24 year-olds, this Saturday will be their first chance to hit the poll booth. But if 2013’s Federal election is anything to go by, we can probably expect an underwhelming show of enthusiasm.

Even though it’s compulsory, 17% of 18-24 year-olds admitted they didn’t plan on voting in last year’s Federal election, which was reflected in record numbers of donkey votes. They also aren’t enrolling to vote at the same rate as the rest of the population, to the point where the VEC are now offering iPads to youth as an incentive to vote.

Are 18-24 year olds as disengaged with politics as we think? Or do they simply feel like their vote isn’t important in a sea of policies designed to woo families and the silver-haired set?

At a glance, both major parties appear to have a sole promise dedicated to youth in their respective budgets. The Coalition promises to address youth unemployment with a $75m incentive plan for businesses to employ young people, and the Labor party has committed $100m to strengthen the TAFE sector. This comes at a critical time, when youth unemployment has reached 13.8% – twice the state average.

According to Lifelounge’s report, the LSR, Victorians aged 18-24 are still optimistic about the future, despite the lack of political policies designed with them in mind.

The LSR also reveals that 32% of 18-24 year-olds surveyed about Australia’s ‘big issues’ chose ‘creating more jobs’ as their biggest concern, followed closely by ‘improving the health care system’ and ‘assisting with housing affordability’.

While these stats prove that interest in public matters (while passive) is alive and well in this demographic, many still believe they have power as individuals, with 28% of respondents feeling they personally can make a difference in dealing with things like climate change.

Tellingly, 18% admit to living in the moment, and believing that ‘the future will take care of itself’, which is startlingly close to the 17% figure of those who didn’t plan on voting at the Federal election.

To better understand the motivations behind the notoriously hard-to-reach 16-30 year-old demographic, subscribe to the Lifelounge Report and gain insights normally reserved for their BFFs.

The Lifelounge (LSR) Report is the country’s leading provider of insights and research into young people 16-30. To find out more, please contact Dion Appel at Lifelounge 03 9912 8958.

Written by Leah Dunkley, Copywriter at Lifelounge Group.

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