Election Special: Young Voters

The 2019 election is set to be a close call. According to political analysts there are key issues dividing voters and generations.

Brigitte O’Brien reports.


Age could be pivotal in this election.

We now have the highest enrolment rate in Australian history, almost ninety-seven per cent.

But importantly, it’s the record eighty-nine per cent of young Australians eligible to vote who could change the political landscape.

One-point six nine million voters are aged between 18 and 24 and they’re actively seeking change.

Vox 1: “I think it is imperative that young people are getting the messages that are important to them out to the government.”

Vox 2: “We’re going to inherit this planet and we’re living on it and there is a lot of, I’m going to say, old dinosaurs in parliament at the moment who don’t believe in change.”

It’s clear that young people are engaging.

Professor Clive Bean, Political Attitudes Expert: “So it’s important for everyone, for young people it’s probably their first, maybe second time, so it’s just an important thing to do to be part of that democratic process.”

Professor Bean believes that concerns about ‘modern’ issues, are what drive young people to speak up on what they want for their future.

Professor Clive Bean, Political Attitudes Expert: “There are things like jobs, job prospects, unemployment, job retention, climate change, um, housing affordability, education. Things like that are especially important to young people.”

Climate change has been a hot topic.

Some believe it sparked the rise in youth enrolment, with millenials wanting their voices heard.

Vox 3: “For me, that is about climate change, so my vote is centered around the government’s policies around climate change, and what I want to happen with the world.”

While many are calling this a ‘generational’ election, no-one is certain which way millenials will swing.

A recent survey revealed voters aged between 19 and 36 are less confident in their future and Australia’s future, than they were a year ago.

So, securing their vote, may not be a clear cut thing.

Brigitte O’Brien, QUT News.