18 - 24.
Just a quick one from me today in light of the General Election result yesterday. I think it's pretty clear now that whilst I wrote an impartial post full of facts I was actually very in support of Jezza and Labour.
I've done a lot of research the past few years for my political blog posts and it's made me even more politically engaged than I was previously.
I've always voted Labour, I have always been sure that they're the party for me, the party that would benefit me and impact positively on my life and the party I think are best suited to run the country. I have voted in two general elections now, the EU referendum, countless local elections, MEP elections, Police Commissioners, Welsh Assembly elections and votes on powers and devolution. I have voted A LOT.
And now my friends, I have to love you and leave you.
This is probably my last election (I mean, the current state of politics in the UK you never know) as a young voter. Come October 17th I have a birthday, as I do every year, and the next election held I will be the newbie in the 25-34 category.
My 18-24 days are behind me, I have but months left with you guys, you young voters you. I am an old hand, I have been voting for years and I am nearing my time as a young voter, as the minority, as the oldest wise owl in the 18-24's.
So I just wanted to say.
We bloody smashed it. Whoever you voted for, whatever party did or didn't get in us, the young voters went for it. We shook things up, we made a stand, we turned up to vote and we did so in our masses. 43% turnout for young people in the last election to 72% in this one is huge.
There is no doubt that the turnout of young voters changed this election. The Conservatives banked on the fact they'd get a massive majority, would get more seats than they previously had. They banked on UKIP voters turning Tory and young voters not turning up, as we've always done. And we didn't. We heard 'young voters don't engage' and we engaged. We turned up and we made ourselves heard.
They said young people wouldn't be catered for if we didn't engage with politics. And we went "Oh I'll show you". We don't like to be told what to do, we don't like people talking about us, talking about our choices and what we WOULD be doing. And we went "nah mate."
I am not saying every young person voted Labour, I wouldn't be naive enough to think that but those who DID vote parties other than the Conservatives contributed to a change. Yes the Tories are still going to be in power but we all know it's changed and I think we all feel like we have a voice now. We feel like we have made a difference.
This election more than any we showed up and we stuck a big two fingers to the Government and to the system and we said nah we ain't happy. We said don't tell us what to do, we said this isn't what we want and we made a change. This election showed us more than any that every vote DOES count, the margins between parties in some constituencies were so small (looking at you Amber Rudd) it's become very apparent how influential we can be. And this election more than any I think it's become apparent how engaged young people are, how educated and clued up we are, how excited and nervous and apprehensive and hopeful we are.
So as I leave the 18-24 age bracket, as I leave you in the capable hands of the politically engaged and motivated people who voted in this election, who made their opinion heard, I say to you - keep this going. Keep this up, stay engaged, stay read up and educated and stay vocal.
Next time I'll be a small fish in the 25-34 pond, a newbie, one of the babies but I hope I'll be just as driven and interested then as I am now.