Last week’s local elections and European elections were the talk of Britain and Europe. The media was full of what individual parties would bring for the people, who had the biggest chance of gaining votes, why a certain party wouldn’t win and most of all, immigration, immigration and more immigration.  However, there are still plenty of people who believe there is no point in voting.  And there is in an interesting contrast between the people that do, and the ones that don’t.

During the 2010 general Elections, only 44 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds voted. This is a very poor statistic compared to the 76 per cent who voted aged over 65. Elderly people tend to vote in order to protect their fuel during the winter and their pensions. Suzanne, who is 94 and lives in a nursing home, says “I have no one to look after me. My husband died years ago and I never had children, I can only rely on the government”. Some young people do not want to vote because they believe the political system leans more to the elderly.  A 23-year-old woman, who preferred to stay anonymous, believes politics cater to the old, saying “whenever I vote, the party only gives to the old”

A polling station in East London has a whole different perspective about voting.  A teller, who had been working all day and wanted to stay anonymous, says there was a high turnout “it has gone surprisingly well. A lot of people came out today” When asked if there were a lot of young people, he says “a few”.  The youth are not the only ones sceptical of political parties. Outside another polling station in East London, a 49-year-old psychotherapist still hadn’t made up her mind about which party she would vote for. However, she still believed voting was important “I disagree in there not being a point in voting. I understand it is frustrating and we have a limited amount of power but this is our voice”.

Everyone wants things to get better, but there is a lot of focus on the negative side of everything. Ironically the people at the polling stations acknowledge the fact that things have become bad, but they still vote for the same party every year. One teller said “I’m very pleased with this party, they are very popular in my area and I am happy with what they’re doing.  Marina, a 54-year-old housewife, had high hopes about what she wanted her party to do “I want them to improve Europe and my borough. I want high quality of living”.


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