Noisey News

Musicians Played a Massive Role in Inspiring the Youth Vote

We've gone and (sort of) done it!!

by Lauren O'Neill
09 June 2017, 9:23am

Bloody hell lads, didn't expect that did we? This time yesterday, most of us felt resigned to what felt like the inevitability of a Conservative landslide victory – if the last two summers, after all, had taught us anything, it was not to get our hopes up. But last night, when the BBC's exit poll emerged, it suggested that things might not be as dire as we first thought.

Turns out, that exit poll was pretty much correct: the Conservative party have lost their parliamentary majority, when they went into the election hoping (and expecting) to massively increase it. In translation for anyone not in the UK: the centre-right political party that arbitrarily called an election because they thought it would wipe out their left-wing opposition don't control parliament anymore (and that's what a "hung parliament" basically means).

The Labour vote far surpassed what most of the commentariat suspected, and, wonderfully, the big story of this election is very much that it seems as though young people won the day for Jeremy Corbyn and his party. And projections have suggested that anything between 66 percent and 72 percent of 18-25s turned out to vote in this election. Even if the as-yet unconfirmed 72 percent figure, largely being bandied around on Twitter, is an over-estimation, it's still almost certain that we've seen a youth vote climbing back up to levels not seen since 1992.

Part of the reason, we'd suspect, for a bigger youth turnout is the fact that lots of people with large platforms among younger voters – specifically a large number of musicians – came out in support of both voting in general, and Labour in particular. Over the last few weeks alone, we've reported on grime's love of Jeremy Corbyn, JME's meeting of minds with him, AJ Tracey's Labour campaign video, Corbyn's opening 'set' for The Libertines, and Akala's support of him.

A number of those prominent musical voices supporting Corbyn have also spoken up this morning: Akala's calling for Theresa May to "be a grown-up" and resign, while JME is congratulating young people on showing up and getting their voices heard. All of this goes to show that UK youth is nowhere near as apathetic as the establishment had banked on, and the music world deserves a big pat on the back for bringing the election further into the eye-line of young voters.

And though it looks like we might end up seeing an extremely right-wing coalition between the Conservative party and the Northern Irish DUP, for now, before any of that happens, this feels like a victory for galvanising the vote. So sit back, bask in your influence, and crack open a cold one with the boys for yourself, for democracy and for Jeremy fucking Corbyn, the absolute boy.

Lauren will be drunk by 1PM today and you can follow her inspirational journey on Twitter.

(Image via duchesszine_ldn on Instagram)