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One in four young adults are unaware of voting ID requirements, suggests new poll

One in four young adults are unaware of voting ID requirements, suggests new poll

  • Date30 April 2024

A YouGov survey, ran on behalf of an academic at Royal Holloway University of London, found that 24% of Londoners aged 18 to 24 are not aware of the need to produce photo ID to vote.

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The survey, which was conducted by YouGov, with Professor James Sloam from the Department of Politics, International Relations and Philosophy at Royal Holloway, involved 1,157 adults in London in April 2024 and could provide important context for the forthcoming London mayoral election.

The election to decide the next Mayor of London will take place on Thursday 2 May, with incumbent Mayor Sadiq Khan seeking re-election for what would be a third term.

As well as finding that nearly a quarter of the young adults surveyed are not completely aware of the voting requirements, the poll had several other interesting findings.

In contrast to the younger demographic, 98% of London residents aged 65 and over that were surveyed said they were aware that they were currently on the electoral register, as did 96% of residents aged 50 to 64, and 88% of 25 to 49-year-olds.

Intention to participate in the vote also appears to be lower among the younger London residents. Just 30% of the 18-24-year-olds surveyed said they were “absolutely certain to vote,” while around two thirds of those aged 65 and over said the same.

Professor James Sloam said: “Young people tend to be more interested in issues, such as the environment, housing and mental health, than elections and party politics compared to older people.

“There is also a problem with awareness, registration and intention to vote for young people, particularly from disadvantaged or marginalised backgrounds.

“Young Londoners are six times as likely to be unaware as Londoners over the age of 65 about the need for photo ID to be able to take part in the mayoral election.

“This is a barrier to vote that is unnecessary and should not have been put in place given the very small number of electoral fraud cases.”

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