Why Sustainability is the key to attracting young voters to the 2017 General Election – and to all future elections
With the General Elections a month away, this means addressing the following five concerns, which the young voting demographic frequently seems to flag as their greatest current anxieties. Ironically or coincidentally, they are also all sustainability-related with significant societal impact:-
- High cost of living
- Affordable housing
- Unemployment and access to work
- The gap between rich and the poor
- The environment and pollution levels
This being the case, in order to make politics inclusive and to win the vote of Britain’s young voters, all the parties need to be talking about the key issues that matter most to young people.
But as the political parties go on the campaign trail in the race to parliament, sustainable development seems to be overlooked as a factor that could play a part and tip the scales by motivating young people to vote.
Governments and politicians need to fully understand and remember that young people are concerned about international social, political, environmental and financial issues because they have grown up in a globalised world. In addition, political parties need to remember that more people from this demographic are witnessing life in developing countries through their volunteer work programmes, travel and tourism. Many have witnessed first-hand the effects of climate change on agriculture, or what it is like to fetch water every-day, or to live miles from a healthcare centre.
Therefore it is vital for the political landscape to become inclusive if it is to secure the vote of Britain’s youth. Parties need to address now more than ever, the issues that matter most to young voters. Politicians and their parties need to recognise that millennials are the most sustainability-conscious generation and their concerns are only set to grow. Studies from Nielsen and Deloitte show that millennials are most willing to pay more for products and services seen as sustainable or coming from socially and environmentally responsible companies. This report may be from a consumer spending habit perspective, but if governments can learn from how companies in the business and retail sector are adapting to meet the changing demands of the powerful new consumer, they could do well to look at how high sustainability issues feature on their campaign trail agenda and how it may need to be reviewed. And not just for the 2017 General Election, but for future elections.
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