Young people plan to punish the government as poll shows new voters rallying behind the opposition

Keir Starmer, who asked Boris Johnson in the House of Commons what message he would like to send to

Keir Starmer, who asked Boris Johnson in the House of Commons what message he would like to send to bereaved families. Picture: UK Parliament - Credit: UK Parliament

Young people have rallied behind the Labour party in the wake of the A-Level results fiasco and plan to punish the government at the polls.

Following an uproar and protests this weekend the government issued a U-turn on its A-levels results

Following an uproar and protests this weekend the government issued a U-turn on its A-levels results grading. Picture: PA/Victoria Jones - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

In a poll carried out by Survation for the Mirror between August 18-19, just 20% of young people said they would vote for the Conservatives at the next election.

Nearly half cited the unfair algorithm, which led to the downgrading of almost 40% of students' grades, as having had a negative impact on their mental health.

A staggering 63% said the government handled the scandal badly - including 36% who believed it was handled 'very badly'.

Dislike of the government is now translating into support for the opposition, with 61% of the 1,043 16-18-year-olds quizzed by Survation saying they would back Keir Starmer's party ahead of a Westminster election.

Education secretary Gavin Williamson announced the U-turn on A-level and GCSE grades on August 17.

Education secretary Gavin Williamson announced the U-turn on A-level and GCSE grades on August 17. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Some 44% of those surveyed said they would be less likely to vote Tory after education secretary Gavin Williamson's handling of the crisis, and 42% more likely to back Labour.


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Just 7% said they would vote Green and 6% Liberal Democrat.

In 2018, Election Maps UK predicted that the 18-24 vote alone during the next general election would result in a 'sea of red' and Labour's gaining of 600 seats.

And that affinity between Labour and young people seems at no risk of diminishing any time soon.

The party has now asked Williamson to publish the legal advice he was given regarding the computer-based model used by Ofqual to standardise results after coronavirus forced exam cancellations.

Labour says Williamson's actions breached anti-discrimination laws, and wants a 'cast-iron guarantee' disadvantaged pupils will not lose out on their first choice university place next month.

Twitter, however, is divided over whether Starmer's lead is by design or default.

One user said: 'Keep it up, Keir Starmer. After just five months of new management, Labour has put the Tories in a worse position than 2017.

'Nice to see competent leadership and effective opposition.'

But another said the 'change in numbers' was 'down to Tory incompetence and not any progress by Labour'.

Others were also sceptical about the permanency of young people's voting intentions, or if they were enough to force a government to change hands.

'Wait until they get their first tax bill', said one Twitter user.

Another said: 'The young have always been swayed by the Marxists - they have not yet experienced a government run by them.'

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