￼A few weeks ago, I wrote an article lamenting the political apathy displayed by the youth of today. Since 1992, youth turnout rates at UK general elections have been in sharp and steady decline culminating in a 43% youth turn out to the 2015 general election, compared with 66% across the electorate. Last night that all came to an end as 18-25 year old's banded together to say 'no more' and to change the face of British politics.
This could not have come soon enough after 2016's shock victories for the right, a year in which we saw Britain leave the EU and Donald Trump become the so called ‘Leader of the Free World’.
When Theresa May called this general election, it was expected that she would see a landslide in her favour and Labour left behind with the other third parties, divided and defeated. This view point was reinforced by the right-wing media who hailed May ‘the most popular leader since Thatcher’ and Jeremy Corbyn a ‘joke’ and a ‘terrorist sympathiser’. In fact, Theresa May was so confident in her position as leader of the country that she put little to no effort into her campaign. She declined television appearances and refused to debate other parties. Whilst Corbyn was out meeting the electorate and broadening his understanding their needs, Theresa May threw small functions with members of her own party, prematurely toasting their own electoral success. How wrong they were.
Driven by a sense of betrayal over Brexit and spurred on by social media outing the fake news of the right-wing press, the youth of the country turned out in their droves. Reportedly 72-75% voted, with an overwhelming 66% of those said to have voted Labour. Together they showed they will no longer sit quietly as they are fed lies by the 1%, and instead will seek the truth out for themselves. Young people, once and for all, proved that they were not an apathetic generation but are a means to change and a force to be reckoned with. It is, instead, the government which needs to wake up and act.
Right now, the results are unclear. However, I sit this morning on the tube in my hometown of London, dressed head to toe in red, undeterred. I am proud of my generation, I am proud of my city and after years of darkness and fading hope, I see a light and a future where humanity may be returned to politics. The Tories may take political power but they have lost hegemony.
The future is coming and the future is Labour.