Frequently asked questions
Q: Why aren’t young people on the register to begin with?
A: Young people often move around a lot at the time when they hit voting age - sometimes to university or college accommodation, sometimes to their first job, often both. Those who are older and more settled are less likely to have to re-register at a new address. But what all of us have found in the last months is that young people are far more engaged in politics than is often believed, and if you give them an opportunity to take part, they will. Just look at the different groups that we come and the success all of us have had, from all parts of the debate, in engaging young people.
Q: Why aren’t you just supporting parties, isn’t that a better way to get people to vote?
A: All parties are making their own efforts to get their vote out. We at Vote For Your Future want to move away from partisan politics and just encourage young people to vote. The last EU elections barometer showed that the biggest factor that caused young people to vote in 2014 was because it was their civic duty, not because they wanted to see a particular party pickup seats. In that spirit, groups from across the political spectrum have teamed up for this campaign.
Q: Who’s behind this organisation?
A range of young people from different organisations and from across the political divide. Vote For Your Future is a non-partisan organisation, led by young people and students of all politics, and none. There are a range of individuals involved who will be known to people in the Brexit debate, as well as young people who simply want to encourage others to get involved.
Q: Isn’t this just a front for Remain?
A: No, Vote For Your Future is a non-partisan organisation, led by young people and students of all politics, and none. We’re working with young Brexit supporters and Remainers, united by the idea that no matter what you believe, it’s important to register and show up. Young people are the least likely to be on the electoral register, while those over 65 are the most likely. Whatever happens with Brexit, for the time we are still in the European Union, our MEPs need to represent the whole country, old and young.
Q: Why are you just mobilising for European Elections, as opposed to this year’s Local Elections? Surely doing this shows you’re not politically neutral on Brexit?
A: We believe that as many people - young and old - as possible, should vote in all elections they are able to do so. The reality is that this year’s European Elections are some of the most important in a generation, and it’s critically important that young people turn out to vote. We urge all young people to vote in the Local Elections, but the registration deadline for these has already been and gone, and our ability to support young people to vote in the European Elections is much higher.
Q: Isn’t this just pointless? The last set of EU elections which weren’t on the same day as local elections, in 1999, had a turnout of just 24%.
A: That’s exactly the problem that we’re looking to solve. It doesn’t matter what outcome you want, it’s important to show up. Every election is decided by those who show up. You can’t vote if you’re not registered, so we’re focussing on getting young people registered first, and then we can get them out on the day!
Q: Where do you get your funding from?
A: We’re seeking funding from many different sources. Vote For Your Future will be running a crowdfunder to support our efforts, as well as partnering with different organisations, individuals and businesses who are willing to support a non-partisan campaign.
But it’s important to underline that all efforts to increase participation should be encouraged - more funding just means that more people may show up to vote, which everyone who believes in democracy can agree is a good thing.
Q: Why should Brexiters bother to take part if we’re leaving the EU by October at the latest?
A: Remainers and Leavers alike agree that representation and democracy are important. Even if we are leaving the EU, representation in its institutions will matter up until that time. If there is a further extension, everyone acknowledges it is important that the UK continues good relations with our European partners - this will help the negotiation process, and perhaps enhance the chances of getting a good deal. On the other hand, if we are to stay in the EU, these MEPs will represent the country for a full cycle - 5 years. Additionally, voting once increases the chance of voting again, so there should be a positive knock on effects for all elections to come. Getting young people to vote is a good end in and of itself, isn’t it?