An exclusive poll for the Electoral Reform Society Scotland has revealed that young people are highly engaged in politics, but ultimately feel alienated from it.

Just over a quarter (26%) of 16-24 year-olds said they felt they had the option to vote for someone who understands them, compared to half nearly half (48%) of those aged over 65.

However, the results also found that 64% of 16-24 year-olds discuss general politics with their friends and families, compared to 43% of over 65s.

Half (50%) of 16-24 year-olds also talk about how they can make their community a better place with their friends and families, compared with just a third (33%) of those aged 65 and over.

In addition, two-thirds (67%) of 16-25 year-olds disagreed with the view that the party in charge makes no difference to their own lives.

Finally, two-thirds (65%) of 16-24 year-olds believe that technology should be used to empower citizens, while only 40% of over 65s agreed.

Jonathon Shafi, spokesperson and Campaigns Organiser for Electoral Reform Society Scotland, said:

“This polling tells us that young people are far from apathetic. It is striking that they appear to discuss national politics and making improvements to their community or town more than their older counterparts.

“But it is also telling that they feel that politicians don’t understand their lives. We know that older people tend to vote more, but we also see that young people want to embrace technology to give citizens more power.

“What’s important about this is that young people appear to want to be able to connect their general political awareness and interest with power and decision making.

“We have a generation who understand the impact of politics on their lives, but feel they need better tools to engage with it.”

Fieldwork dates, methodology and a full breakdown of these results can be found here.

For a more detailed breakdown of results from this poll or any other results from our polling series, please get in touch by email or phone.


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