June 10, 2017

Millennials turn left

New Republic - According to a Sky News exit poll, Labour candidates won 63 percent among voters 18 to 34 years old. The Tories took a dismal 27 percent. Turnout among 18-to-25-year-olds was estimated to be between 66 and 72 percent. In 2015, when Labour ran a centrist campaign under Edward Miliband, only 45 percent of these voters turned out. In this year’s vote tallies, Labour did best among those seats that had highest percent of 18-to-24-year-old voters.

In the Democratic primary last year, progressive Bernie Sanders won more 18-to-29-year-old voters than Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump combined. In France this year, in the first round of voting among eleven candidates, leftwing maverick Jean-Luc Mélenchon was far ahead among the 18-to-24 year olds with 30 percent of their vote. In last March’s Dutch elections, with eleven parties contesting, the Green Left Party, led by a 31-year-old parliamentarian, won 35 percent of the 18-to-34 year old vote, considerably more than any other party.

In Italy, according to polls taken two years ago, Beppe Grillo’s anti-establishment Five Star Movement is the favored party of 18-to-29-year-old voters. Spain’s Podemos, which is now the country’s third largest party, was founded by political scientists who were in their early 30s. The party’s chief theoretician, Inigo Errejon, is 33. When I attended a conference in Madrid last year hosted by Europe’s parties of the left, the median age of the attendees looked to be under 30 years old.

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