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Focus on younger votes

20 Jun 14

Focus on younger votes
Horizon polling in May-June finds just 65.6% of 18-24 year-olds say they are certain to vote

Horizon polling on likely voter turnout is illustrating the urgency of some groups' efforts to have younger New Zealanders vote at the September 20 general election.

The country's specialist emissions trading news service, Carbon News, reports that Maori who are angry about the Government’s twin failures over carbon prices and sustainable economic development are looking to mobilise the crucial 18-to-34-years-old vote.

Around a third of eligible voters did not vote in the 2011 election, and polling by Horizon Research suggests that only 72 per cent of voters are committed to turning out in this year’s election.


The figures show that a disproportionately large number of younger voters are unlikely to vote. Of those aged 18 to 24, just 65.6 per cent say they will vote.


The number of committed voters rises steadily across the age spectrum, with 62.2 per cent of 25-to-24-year-olds, 68.5 per cent of 35-to-44-year-olds, 76.4 per cent of 45-to-54-year-olds, 84.2 per cent of 55-to-64-year-olds, 84.8 per cent of 65-to-74-year-olds and 86.8 per cent of those aged 75 or more saying they will vote.


Carbon News reports: "With polls such as yesterday’s Fairfax Ipsos poll indicating that 43.8 per cent of voters think it’s time for a change of government, compared to 48 per cent who think it’s not, convincing non-voters to change their minds and vote is becoming increasingly critical.


"Iwi Leaders’ Forum spokesman Chris Karamea Insley says that his organisation and others are turning their attention to getting young Maori to vote.


"And that could elevate the significant of environmental policies.


"The Iwi Leaders’ Forum, angry over the Government’s failure to protect the value of carbon credits many iwi received as part of Treaty of Waitangi settlements, has already told the Government – publicly and privately – that it intends making climate change policy a key election issue," Carbon news says.