Lots of young people did vote in the EU referendum despite claims that they couldn't be bothered

Despite claims that young people could not be bothered to vote, it seems that actually, yes, they did.

In fact, turnout was 64% among 18-24 year olds and 65% among 25-39 year olds, which is closer to the population average than could have been expected. Some 71% of people aged 18-24 voted to remain in the EU, and 62% of 25-39 year olds.

The EU referendum turnout for people aged between 18 and 24 was almost double the figure initially reported, according to research by the London School of Economics (LSE). The research was based on in-depth polling conducted by Opinium and analysed by professor of political science and European politics Michael Bruter and Dr Sarah Harrison of the LSE.

A Remain supporter
(Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)

Widely reported initial statistics released by Sky Data, which was based on analysis of last year's general election, suggested the turnout among young people was 36%. But figures emerged after a post-referendum Opinium poll of 2,002 people looked into whether people voted at polling stations or by post, whether they were registered but did not vote, and whether they were not registered at all.

In the report, Bruter and Harrison wrote that the question of whether young people voted or not is politically important for two critical reasons:

1.Because there continues to be a significant proportion of younger voters who say that they are unhappy with the result of the referendum and want to be heard, and one of the key arguments that have been made in answer to them is: "they should have bothered to vote if they cared that much".

2.Because the Government chose not to give the right to vote to 16 and 17 year old's in the referendum, and it is fair to ask whether allowing them to vote could have changed the result of the referendum or not.

Remain supporters near Park Lane
(Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)

Bruter added that if 16-year-olds had been allowed to vote, the result would have been far closer.

He said: "Allowing 16-to-17-year-olds a vote would have added nearly 1.6 million potential citizens to the electorate, but it is of course extraordinarily difficult to know if it might have affected the outcome of the referendum.

"On balance, the results of our surveys on the turnout of 18-to-24-year-olds would suggest that it would not have been enough to overturn the result of the referendum ... but it would have almost certainly reduced the advantage of Leave to such a point (likely less than 500,000 votes) that the very concept of a majority would have been highly controversial."

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