Election turnout of young will be low - poll


Turnout of young people in the general election is likely to be very low, according to a survey.

The latest Decode research into young people in Ireland shows almost three in ten 18-24-year-olds said they would not vote. Just over one in five did not know whether they would vote or not.

The Decode research is a regular survey of young people designed to track changing social and political values, as well as to inform businesses who wish to target the Irish youth market. The Decode group is made up of media and marketing companies with the common aim of marketing strong youth brands

The survey of 500 young people was conducted in February 2002 by Amárach Consulting. It was commissioned by the Decode consortium, which includes Irish International OMD, TV3, 98FM, The Star, and Clear Channel.

Young people least likely to vote are those from least prosperous socio-economic households, and those living in Dublin.

When asked why they would not vote, a third simply said they had no interest in politics. A further 15 per cent said that could not be bothered. Almost one in five said that it makes no difference whether they vote or not.

Of all the 18-24 year olds surveyed only 3 per cent described themselves as very interested in politics. Almost six in ten described themselves as uninterested.

Mr Gerard O’Neill, managing director of Amárach Consulting, said the question for Irish society and politicians is whether these findings reflect a transient "lifestage phenomenon" or whether an "apathetic generation" has been formed.