Does Knowledge Equal Power? Looking at Political Interest vs Turnout.
Earlier this year, The Hansard Society published its ‘Audit of Political Engagement Report 2018‘, which explored the trends in the public’s engagement in politics. We took a look at this year’s results, and were particularly interested between the correlation between increased knowledge/interest in politics and likeliness to vote.
As can be seen in the graphic below, this correlation is noticeable when comparing generations. When compared to older respondents, the young adults Hansard Society spoke to appear to feel less interested or knowledgeable about politics and they’re also the least certain to vote in elections.
Voting Counts was set up in order to provide an unbiased resource where young adults could educate themselves about the importance of political engagement, this data provides some support to our belief that young people need greater political education to help them understand the significance of voting in order to subsequently encourage wider political participation.
Of course it is important to keep in mind that low knowledge of politics is not necessarily a cause of low turnout, and may be just one factor influencing people’s turnout at election time.
The report did however find that it’s not all doom and gloom for young adults, as some promising findings that suggest young people are getting increasingly engaged and knowledgeable about politics;
Among 18-24s, certainty to vote rose five points from last year to 44%, the highest in the Audit series. Compared to Audit 1 in 2004, it is 16 points higher.
18-24s’ knowledge of politics is also up since Audit 1 in 2004, by eleven points (28% to 39%), as is their interest in politics (by six points, 35% to 41%) and their sense of political efficacy (also by six points, 35% to 41%).
You can read the full document below or on the Hansard Society Website: