Why turnout increased in the 2017 General Election (and the increase did not help Labour)
In this pre-release analysis from our 35th report, we analyse the increase in voter turnout at the 2017 General Election - and examine the 'youthquake' phenomenon that was perceived to have helped Labour at the polls.
- A likely driver of turnout was an increased interest in politics. The number of BSA respondents who said in 2017 that they had "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of interest in politics was a record high of 43%.
- 45% of people also stated that they believed there was a "great difference" between the Labour and Conservative parties, which may have also had an impact (this figure was just 27% in 2015).
- There's little evidence of the election results being swayed by a 'youth-quake' of previously-disengaged younger voters that supported the Labour party in 2017. Turnout amongst 18-24 year-olds increased by 5%, which was broadly in line with the rest of the population (a 4% increase amongst 45-54 year-olds, and a 3% increase amongst the over-65s).
- In fact, both the Conservatives and Labour saw an increase in turnout amongst voters who said they 'identified' with either party (a 2% increase for the Conservative party, leading to an 88% turnout for 'Conservative-identifying' respondents, and a 4% increase for Labour, leading to an 80% turnout for 'Labour-identifying respondents).