The National Youth Council of Ireland has issued a reminder, for all young people to exercise their last chance register to vote before the closing date of May 8th, for the May 25th referendum. The Council also said it’s concerned that 151,000 young people may have yet to register.
As Joe.ie has reported, When looking at the latest population figures from the Central Statistics Office and a RedC poll by the NYCI in November 2017. It was stated, that 22% of persons aged 18 to 29 were not registered to vote, and there was a concern for the lack of registration from the 60,000 young people who have turned 18 in the past year.
However, the number is speculative and may have changed since the poll was carried out in late 2017. Perhaps, in part, due to the surge of students recently registered to vote by college student unions throughout the country.
A recent Ipsos MRBI poll showing that a yes vote was highest in urban areas and between the 18-24 group, while a no vote was highest in rural areas and among the 65+ age group, and this paired with the disparity of voter registration between the two age groups could prove problematic, as the poll suggests that support for repeal has dropped.
When looking at the ‘Election Turnout in Ireland: measurement, trends and policy implications’ report by the Oireachtas library and research service, from 28 January 2016, It suggests that “there is a constant pattern of lower turnout amongst people in the youngest age category” in general elections.
But that the trend in turnout of young voters since 2002 mirrors the national trend of an upward pattern. The report also stating that “Anecdotal evidence suggests that the turnout of young people was higher than usual for the 2015 marriage equality referendum.”
Although it also noted that turnout amongst the 18-25 age groups is “lower than average in most European countries.” And data from the ‘European Social Survey’, found that average reported turnout since 2000 in 30 Europe countries among the 18-25 age category was 59% compared with 82% reported turnout amongst the whole population.
And although the Union of Students in Ireland have announced that almost 27,000 new students have registered to vote in the upcoming referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment.
The Survey also found that there is a strong socio-economic dynamic to the pattern of young people not registering to vote, stating that those with “low levels of educational achievement” who are eligible to vote to do so in “alarmingly small numbers.” And these young people not in colleges or education, who are registering in such small numbers, are also less likely to benefit by these Student Union registrations.