General Election 2015: Unemployment is driving some young voters from the Conservatives to Labour

Sarah Spickernell
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The general election is less than two months away (Source: Getty)

Some young people who voted for the Conservatives in the last general election are choosing to vote Labour this time, according to Reuters.

The news agency spoke to a sample of first-time voters in 2010, and tracked them down again this month to find out how their opinions had changed in the run up to May.
They found a general shift in sentiment, driven by a dissatisfaction with how the coalition has handled youth unemployment since it came to power.
In the five years before the financial crash, the average unemployment rate among 18-to-24-year-olds was 11.3 per cent, but since 2010 it has been consistently higher than this at an average of just over 18 per cent. During the last three months on 2014, this fell to 14.3 per cent, but it seems this was not enough of a decline to satisfy some young people.

Swing to the left

In most previous general elections, young people have voted for Labour rather than Conservatives. 2010 represented a change from the norm, as Cameron launched his “We can't go on like this” slogan, promising to cut Britain's debt and create more jobs.
Gearoid Lockwood from Leeds said that at the time he “swung for the Conservative party... for jobs, for schools, for employment”. Over a million young people were out of work when he cast his vote.
The economy is growing once more, but the lack of a long-term decrease in unemployment seems to be causing youngsters to turn back to Labour, which has made a promise to give an apprenticeship to any school leaver with the right grades and a guaranteed job for under 25s who have been out of work for more than 12 months.
"I just don't think that the government helped a lot with what they promised”, Lockwood said, although he acknowledged the positive steps the government has achieved in terms of housing with its guarantees on high loan-to-value mortgages.

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