Starmer failed to ‘seal the deal’ as polls show turnout could be worse in modern history

Britain is heading for the lowest general election turnout in modern history, a poll has warned, with the main parties and their leaders leaving many voters “politically homeless”.

The warning about mass apathy follows a Techne UK poll this week which suggests 20 per cent of people have already decided not to vote even in the middle of an election campaign with just a month to go.

The poll of 1,645 Britons of voting age by Techne for Independent Media shows that while the “won’t vote” percentage of the population is usually high in non-election periods, it is expected to drop significantly during the short campaign period (the period between the dissolution of parliament and election day).

Apathy is particularly high among young voters, who say their problems on issues such as housing have not been addressed by the major parties in the campaign. Among Generation Z and millennials, 38 percent decided not to vote, nearly double the national average.

And according to Techne 30 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 34 aren’t even registered to vote.

Robert Hayward, who is also a Tory peer, noted that many people who say they will or may vote will not be at polling stations on July 4.

Keir Starmer is struggling to connect with voters, according to polls (PA)

Keir Starmer is struggling to connect with voters, according to polls (PA)

He believes this is because many Conservative voters in particular are angry with their party, and “Keir Starmer has failed to seal the deal and convince people that he is a prime minister in waiting”.

He said: “Although 80 per cent say they will or might vote, many of those people will not vote. So the figure will be 20 percent of those who will no longer vote.

“I felt that we may have the lowest turnout ever because obviously a lot of voters look political.

“However, the most important thing about this is how many people would normally vote if asked. If a high percentage of them would normally vote 20 percent is a very high figure.”

Of those who voted, 1,111 (68 per cent) voted in the last election and the remaining 534 (32 per cent) were divided between people who decided not to vote and those who were too young to vote in 2019.

This week's debate between the party leaders was hosted by Julie Etchingham, which resulted in many scandals and intrusions (PA)This week's debate between the party leaders was hosted by Julie Etchingham, which resulted in many scandals and intrusions (PA)

This week’s debate between the party leaders was hosted by Julie Etchingham, which resulted in many scandals and intrusions (PA)

This means that there was a higher percentage of people of voting age in the poll in 2019 than the national percentage of those who cast a vote in the last election (67 per cent). Lord Hayward noted that this made the 20 per cent “will not vote” figure “more significant”.

Polling guru Professor Sir John Curtice agreed that polls exaggerated the number of people who actually voted.

He told The Independent: “We can argue that the conditions that facilitate low attendance are in place.”

He continued: “There are two conditions in place which suggest that the number of people who attended was small. At the start of the big poll so it seems clear what is going to happen. Secondly, the differences between the two largest parties are small so it doesn’t matter who wins anyway. To that we can add the fact that none of the main party leaders are popular or energetic, which is why Farage can make waves.”

According to Techne UK, university-educated people are most likely not to vote, with a whopping 60 percent planning to stay away from the polling stations.

The figure could be a rare boost for the Tories, with students far more likely to vote Labor than them.

But among younger voters who have decided to vote, Labor leads the Tories by 54 per cent to 14 per cent.

The results show that only a small number of people voted because they did not like their local candidates (9 percent), suggesting that the national picture has a much greater influence than usual.

Of the pensioners (people aged over 64) who are most likely to abstain, 37 per cent of those who voted said it was because they didn’t like either party.

Meanwhile one in three with a lower education will not vote because they feel their vote does not count.

Meanwhile, after rows over the party moved to the right, supporting Israel and ditching left-wing candidates, former Labor voters are more likely to abstain because they don’t like either party’s policies. (54 percent). In particular, Unite, Britain’s largest union, announced this week that it would not support Labour’s manifesto.

The chief executive of Techne UK, Michela Morizzo, warned that the abstention will be so high that it will change the profiles of voters for the main parties.

She said: “There is no question that this election could possibly present the lowest turnout in electoral history. The main issues with those voters who say they will not vote, whether they are young or older, is that they say they cannot trust any political party or politician.

“This issue of trust, the breakdown of the covenant between the electorate and the people who represent them, is the main factor why in this election those people who stay at home and will never vote the largest share of the electoral vote may create.

“We’ll see in the coming weeks but probably only [whoever] really sure which party deserves his vote will go to vote. It would not be a positive situation for the Conservatives. Time and polls will tell.”

Ms Morizzo added: “There is a risk of a low turnout because there is abstention among those who voted Conservative and have lost confidence, which could add to the traditional abstention, ie the lower social classes vulnerable. As a result of the polls, we may find an identity of the Conservative voter that is very different to that of 2019.”

Luke Tryl from the campaigning organization More in Common warned that at the heart of voter cynicism and apathy is a lack of faith that political parties offer solutions to solve Britain’s problems.

He said: “The big question is whether the time for a change of heart means more people want to get out and vote or whether the pervasive sense of apathy and cynicism means more people decide not bother?

“What is certainly true from our focus group conversations is that few people are confident that whoever wins will be able to resolve the challenges facing ‘broken’ Britain.”

An Electoral Commission spokesman said: “A general election is an important opportunity for people to have their say, and registration is the first step in the ballot box. It’s quick and simple to implement, and with less than two weeks until the deadline, time is of the essence.

“All voters must be registered by midnight on June 18 to take part, and those planning to vote at a polling station must check that they have an acceptable form of identification to receive their ballot paper. Anyone unable or unwilling to vote at a polling station in Great Britain can apply for a postal vote by 5pm on June 19 or a proxy vote – where someone votes for you – by 5pm on June 26. Complete these tasks and you’ll be ready to cast your vote on July 4.”

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