Number of younger voters ‘off the scale’ in Southampton Test
Tuesday, 13 June 2017
Alan Whitehead, who significantly increased his majority for Labour in Southampton Test at the general election, has said the percentage of young people voting had been “off the scale”.
The election saw Alan Whitehead, pictured below, increasing his majority from
3810 to a whopping 11503 in the constituency, which includes St Denys,
Portswood and Highfield.
On the BBC’s Sunday Politics South (56 mins in), he said he didn’t expect to get such a large majority, and even at
the start of the count Labour had thought they’d won only by “low
‘Not just students’
He put some of his success down to younger people voting.
“It wasn’t just students, it was a
whole host of younger people firstly getting registered, and secondly
going out to vote. If we look at the percentage of young people
traditionally voting in elections, 18 – 25s, and who voted in this
election, it was just off the scale. And they were clearly enthused by
what Labour had to say...”
He said he thought Labour’s manifesto had
played a substantial role in the turnaround in the campaign, between
“assuming it was a coronation, and then suddenly there was a ‘game-on’, a
real election in progress, and of course Jeremy Corbyn’s stature grew,
as Theresa May dissolved before our eyes”.
The announcement of Alan Whitehead's victory also confirmed that the country was heading for a hung parliament, as predicted in the general election exit poll.
The Guardian reported that the Southampton Itchen constituency has
become the top Labour target seat, after Royston Smith retained it, but
only by a majority of only 31 votes.
Previously: Whitehead increases Labour's majority in Southampton Test