In a blow to Labour hopes, new figures show young voter turnout could be lower than the last General Election

Mark Sands
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The UK will head to the polls on 8 June. (Source: Getty)

Just over half of under 30s are expected to cast their ballot in the General Election this week, dealing a blow to Labour's hopes of energising the youth vote.

Young voters are at the heart of differing polls in the run up to Thursday's vote, with different pollsters estimating turnout at varying levels.

Polls working on the basis of high youth turnout have tended to show the smallest gap between the parties, but new figures from the National Centre for Social Research estimate that just 53 per cent of under 30s will participate.

The figures are based on a survey of more than 2,000 adults taken throughout April and May with methodology designed specifically to counteract failures in polling ahead of the last election.

Just over 50 per cent turnout among the young would represent a drop in turnout from the 2015 General Election, when 62 per cent of the pollster's randomly selected sample group headed to the ballot boxes.

By contrast, almost four out of five voters aged 60 and over said they were definitely going to vote on Thursday.

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And the pollsters all found that large numbers of traditionally Labour voters felt that no party still represented them.

NatCen head of public attitudes Roger Harding said: “Despite caring deeply about the result, the majority of the working class and social renters feel politically homeless. The consistent Conservative lead over Labour is quite possibly explained by this group – traditionally Labour – being the most likely to describe themselves as unrepresented in this race.

“A democracy in which a majority consider the choices on offer don’t speak to their lives is a very worrying thing and all parties would do well to consider how to reconnect with those who feel left out. “

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