Read this before sharing posts about the 'youth turnout being 72 per cent'

Bridie Pearson-Jones
Friday 09 June 2017 08:45
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Picture:(Getty Images)

Young people may have just pulled off the biggest political shock in living memory (except maybe, Brexit and Trump). But if you think we can prove that theory yet you'd be sadly mistaken.

The truth of the matter is, we simply don't yet. A number of people (a lot of people actually) are sharing that 18-24 voter turnout for this election is at 72%, yet no-one knows where this came from.

Malia Bouattia, the President of the National Union of Students tweeted at 1:46am Friday morning that early reports suggest 72% of 18-24s voted.

The figure was picked up by various journalist, MPs, and twitter users - without the source.

The Metro, The Mirror and The Telegraph, Cosmo, the Washington Post and others also ran with these figures. Quoting 'sources' or 'sky news'.

The BBC included a link to this tweet by ITV News' Economics editor stating turnout was 72%.

The earliest tweet about this claim originated from from Alex Cairns, a blogger at HuffPost, who tweeted at 11.06pm, only an hour after the polls closed and before any seats were declared.

indy100 has spoken to Alex, who said that the figure was "an indication" and "not 100 per cent". He said he had key campaign members doing head counts at polling stations in student cities such as Sheffield, Reading, Bristol, Bath and London. He added that he conducted surveys with other student union officers. He did not share his calculations with us. He said he's not in touch with Malia Bouattia, but he assumes that she saw the numbers in his tweet.

Ben Page, the Chief Exec of polling company Ipsos-Mori, tweeted that it takes a week to produce broken down turnout figures.

Jow Twyman, Head of Political and Social at YouGov also tweeted saying we don't know the figures yet.

The speculation is likely based on increased overall turnout and Labour doing much better than initially expected.

The general election was first expected to be a landslide for the Conservatives, ending up with an increased majority. Instead Labour have gained at least 29 seats, and the Conservatives have lost at least 12 - resulting in a hung parliament.

As likelihood to vote Labour significantly decreases with age, YouGov analysis shows that for every ten years older a person is, the likelihood they vote Conservative increases by 8 points and the likelihood they vote labour decreases by 6 points

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Pre-election polling showed Labour solidly ahead of the Conservatives with the under 40s demographic, and a recent YouGov analysis showed if only people under-50 voted, Corbyn would win the election.

The Labour party campaign targeted young people.

A movement called #Grime4Corbyn was launched, encouraging young people to vote and various grime artists such as JME and Stormzy publicly backed Corbyn.

Momentum, a branch of the Labour party, urged supporters to visit its website My Nearest Marginal, which reveals key marginal seats and lists contact details for local Labour contacts and campaign events.

More: Two photos that perfectly sum up the election night

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