My Life My Say, in collaboration with leading research firm Opinium, is pleased to present the latest findings from the Youth Index, a comprehensive study providing insight into the attitudes and sentiments of young people across the United Kingdom. The survey, conducted in November, 2023, sheds light on key aspects of youth perceptions, offering valuable insights into trust in government, political figures, and the factors influencing decision-making.
Trust in Government:
The Youth Index reveals a notable shift in trust dynamics, with 50% of young individuals expressing distrust in the government—a marked increase from the previous tracking wave. Conversely, only 25% report trust in the government, resulting in a net score of -25%, showcasing a decrease in overall trust among the youth.
Distrust in Politicians:
The survey highlights a pervasive skepticism toward politicians, as 53% of respondents express distrust, compared to a mere 21% who convey trust. This sentiment yields a net score of -32%, indicating a growing disillusionment with political figures.
The Youth Index captures evolving perceptions of political parties, with 48% expressing distrust in the Conservative party, resulting in a net score of -30%. Meanwhile, Labour also experienced a decline from the previous wave, with 37% expressing trust, yielding a net score of 12%.
Influence on Decision-Making:
The survey delves into young people's perceptions of whose interests are considered in government decision-making. Alarmingly, only 22% believe the needs of young people are considered, while a third (33%) think older people's interests are taken into account. Similar trends emerge in considerations for those from ethnic minority backgrounds (24%), those on low incomes (21%), and renters (19%).
Factors Influencing Non-Voting:
Among those unlikely to vote in a general election, the Youth Index identifies key reasons. A notable 37% cite a lack of political knowledge, while 20% express skepticism about the efficacy of elections. Additionally, 31% believe their vote will not make a difference.
Top issues for young people:
The Youth Index highlights the pressing issues at the forefront of young people's minds, revealing that a staggering 63% consider the cost of living crisis as the most critical issue. The survey further unveils that 45% of young individuals identify health/NHS as a top concern, emphasizing the importance of robust healthcare systems. Additionally, 25% express deep worries about housing/rent prices, shedding light on the housing affordability crisis affecting a significant portion of the youth population.
These findings underscore the urgency of addressing the widening trust deficit and ensuring young people's voices are heard in the political landscape.
Mete Coban, Chief Executive of My Life My Say
“This polling shows a growing disillusionment amongst young people towards politics that simply cannot be ignored. It is imperative that we, as a society, invest in rebuilding the bridge of trust between the youth and our political institutions. At My Life My Say, we are committed to fostering an environment where young voices are not only heard but also valued, ensuring that the future leaders of our nation feel a genuine sense of representation and trust in the democratic process."
James Endersby, Chief Executive of Opinium
“The latest wave of the Opinium / My Life My Say Youth Index Tracker shows a continuation of the pervasive disillusionment with politics many young people in the UK feel. Dislike of government and politicians remains high and nearly half think the government has done a bad job making decisions to positively impact young people. While distrust toward the Conservative party remains high, those who trust the Labour party has fallen considerably.”
Tom McEachan #iWill Movement Assembly Co-Chair
“The findings of this survey reflect a concerning gap between the aspirations and concerns of young people and the perceived attention given to their needs in government decision-making. It's time for our leaders to recognise that the future of our society is shaped by the dreams and struggles of the youth, and their interests must be at the forefront of policy discussions. Everybody is a stakeholder in political decision making. Young people are not just leaders of today but are, rather, acting positively every day to create change in their communities every day. No decision that affects young people should be made without young people. Our perspectives deserve equal consideration and recognition.”
For media inquiries, please contact:
Head of Partnerships, My Life My Say
About My Life My Say:
My Life My Say is a youth-led organization committed to empowering young voices and fostering civic engagement. Through innovative initiatives, My Life My Say works to bridge the gap between young people and the political process, advocating for a more inclusive and representative democracy.
OPINIUM is an award winning strategic insight agency built on the belief that in a world of uncertainty and complexity, success depends on the ability to stay on the pulse of what people think, feel and do. Creative and inquisitive, we are passionate about empowering our clients to make the decisions that matter. We work with organisations to define and overcome strategic challenges – helping them to get to grips with the world in which their brands operate. We use the right approach and methodology to deliver robust insights, strategic counsel and targeted recommendations that generate change and positive outcomes.
Details on fieldwork: Opinium Research carried out an online survey of 1,065 young people aged 18-24 from November 6th to November 15th 2023. Results have been weighted to be politically and nationally representative.