Youth turnout crucial to Clive Lewis’ Labour hold in Norwich South seat

Students queuing up to vote at the University of East Anglia during the General Election. Picture: K

Students queuing up to vote at the University of East Anglia during the General Election. Picture: KIRSTY WEBB - Credit: Archant

Young voters were crucial to the outcome of the election.

Alex McGowan. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes

Alex McGowan. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes - Credit: Archant

Across the country legions of 18 to 25-year-olds coming out to vote seemed to change the campaign - not least in Norwich South, where young support is believed to have helped Labour's Clive Lewis double his votes and increase his majority to 15,000. But what motivated young people - many of whom, according to some, show a lack of interest in politics - to use their voices so loudly?

Jack Williams, 22, who works as a supervisor at Starbucks, said his motivation for voting Labour was 'to get the Tory government out'.

Emily Denmade, 18, said that 'being unhappy with the way society is at the moment' and 'wanting change' got her to the polls on Thursday. 'I voted Labour because I think they represent my views exactly. I couldn't agree more with them more', she said, adding: 'I was definitely surprised by how well they did'.

Madeleine Turner, a 19-year-old student, said she 'felt very passionate about voting Labour and about what they stand for'.

Georgia Hunt. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes

Georgia Hunt. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes - Credit: Archant


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She added: 'It was my moral obligation to go and vote, given how much they represent our generation'.

Georgia Hunt, 20, and Reece Peterson, 22, both stated how important they felt it was for young people to participate in the election. Georgia has voted ever since she turned 18, and felt 'it would be a good opportunity to get my voice heard'.

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Reece Peterson, a catering manager, said voting 'took me two seconds... it's my future and it won't take long. I might as well take part'.

Alex McGowan, 23, caretaker of the St Peter Mancroft Church, added that he 'can't really understand why people don't vote. It's what a person should do'.

Zuva Chinhori. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes

Zuva Chinhori. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes - Credit: Archant

However, Mr McGowan also said that 'nothing can be solved without global socialism anyway'.

Connor Macdonald, a 20-year-old engineer, disagreed, saying: 'I'm not a fan of either really but I think the Conservatives are the lesser of the two evils.'

He said: 'I didn't really want Labour in because I wanted to keep it the same because of the whole Brexit thing. I don't really agree with change when things like that are happening'.

Zuva Chinhori, 30, a self-employed Green Party voter, said: 'People think that votes don't matter, that one single vote doesn't matter - but you're sending a message for what it is that you're voting for'.

Jack Williams. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes

Jack Williams. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes - Credit: Archant

Madeleine Turner. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes

Madeleine Turner. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes - Credit: Archant

Reece Peterson. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes

Reece Peterson. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes - Credit: Archant

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