UK & World News

  • 1 September 2014, 23:21

Sky Poll: Young Not Engaged In Politics

Almost half of young people in Britain are not engaged in politics, feel their voices are not heard and do not believe that politicians are addressing their needs, a Sky News poll has found.

The Survation poll was commissioned as part of the launch of Stand Up Be Counted, a brand new digital platform designed by Sky News to give young people a voice.

The survey appears to show widespread apathy and indifference towards politics among those aged 24 and below.

Click here to visit the Stand Up Be Counted site

Forty-nine percent of 16-24 year olds questioned know neither the name nor party of their local MP, the survey found.

And 47% said none of party leaders David Cameron, Nick Clegg, Ed Miliband or Nigel Farage best exemplify the qualities they want in their political leaders.

For example, of those questioned, more than a quarter (26%) said they were not engaged with politics and had no interest in becoming more involved.

Seventeen percent said they were not engaged in politics but would like to become more so.

Just 8% said they were fully engaged with the political process.

In total 39% expressed an interest in becoming more engaged in politics while 50% said they had no interest in becoming more engaged.

The poll also showed the frustration and lack of faith many young people have in politics.

Asked if they felt their voices were heard in society, 44% said they were not listened to despite trying to express concerns or beliefs.

Forty-two percent said they did not try to make themselves heard. And just 12% felt that they were being listened to.

Forty-five percent of those questioned said they had "not very much" confidence that politicians would address the issues that matter most.

And only 31% said they trusted government to address their needs and concerns.

The three attributes named by those polled as most desirable in politicians were honesty, being in touch with ordinary people and the ability to make tough decisions.

Asked to reveal the first word that comes to mind when thinking of politics 9% said "lies" or "liars", 8% said "boring" and 7% referred to "corruption".

MPs have faced recent criticism for rowdy displays at the weekly Prime Minister's Questions sessions.

And 53% of those questioned said they would be more likely to listen to politicians if they behaved better at PMQs. Forty-three percent said it showed politicians displaying passion.

The poll also shows that mainstream media is viewed with suspicion by young people.

Eight out of 10 of those surveyed said they did not believe that traditional media (newspapers, radio and TV) portrayed them accurately.

Instead social media such as Facebook and Twitter are more trusted to accurately reflect their views and concerns according to 46%.

:: Survation polled 1,004 16-24 year olds on behalf of Sky News between August 21 and 26, 2014.

:: Stand Up website: www.skynews.com/standupbecounted

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