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Getting the youth vote has never been easy

Low voter turnout among young people is nothing new in politics, Professor Justin Fisher told Sky News.

Interviewed by presenter Andrew Wilson on 16th January, Prof Fisher said that young people today are no different from previous generations in taking their time to start voting.

Where they differ is the age at which they start voting - previously they would do this in their mid-20s, but many young people nowadays have not started voting by their mid-30s.

Professor Fisher was challenged by Eleanor Muffitt, apprentice at the Telegraph, about a ‘vicious circle’. Muffitt claimed that politicians do not concentrate on young people because they know that these are unlikely to vote, which in turn disengages young people from the political system.

The Brunel Professor of Political Science, and Head of the Department of Politics, History and the Brunel Law School, contended that this argument was simplistic, as there was more media coverage of young people’s issues nowadays than in the past, and schools compared to 20 years ago were teaching more politics. He said: "Being a citizen cuts both ways – it is about society reaching out to young people, but it’s also about young people learning what it is to be in a society."