As the 2017 British elections passed, we have witnessed a surge in popularity for the Labour party among young voters. While the Conservative party flaunted its victory in gaining 5 points from 2015 to reach 42%, the public is largely unsuspecting of the attraction young voters have to Jeremy Corbyn’s rhetoric. YouGov finds that 71% of 18-24 year old voters would be voting Labour, compared with just 15% of that base supporting the Conservatives.
This vast swing to left-wing ideology among young voters will come as no surprise to the baby boomer generation that witnessed (or partook in) the countercultural movement of the 1960’s. The “New Left” as they were called, was largely consisting of young people that were disheartened by Nixonian conservatism as well as capitalism in general.
Much of what we see happening on the political left continues to mirror the actions and rhetoric of the countercultural movement. We can see why young voters are so attracted to this rhetoric when we look at some of Corbyn’s quotes.
- The dividing lines in this election could not be clearer from the outset. It is the Conservatives, the party of privilege and the richest, versus the Labour Party, the party that is standing up for working people to improve the lives of all.
- They are yesterday’s rules, set by failed political and corporate elites we should be consigning to the past. It is these rules that have allowed a cosy cartel to rig the system in favour of a few powerful and wealthy individuals and corporations. It is a rigged system set up by the wealth extractors, for the wealth extractors.
- It was their wealthy friends in the City who crashed our economy. How dare they ruin the economy with their recklessness and greed and then punish those who had nothing to do with it? It was not pensioners, nurses, the low or average-paid workers or carers who crashed the economy.
It comes as no surprise that much of Corbyn’s rhetoric consists of blaming the wealthy and the capitalists for the failures of the British economy, this message resonates with young people who also blame large corporations and older generations for their faults.