Why should young people vote in the election?

Kai Taylor
The general election in July will be Kai's first time voting [BBC]

For the past few weeks, the upcoming UK general election has been all anyone's been talking about.

But according to research from Ipsos Mori, 18 to 24-year-olds are the least likely age group to go to the polls on 4 July, while voter confidence is at a record low.

BBC Wales went out and about in Newport to ask younger people whether they are intending to vote and what's important to them.

Most people said they felt they didn't know enough, weren't interested or didn't want to talk about the general election.

But those who we did speak to explained why voting is important to them.

Twenty-year-old Kai Taylor from Caldicot, Monmouthshire, said this would be his first time voting.

"I feel like the younger generation don't vote as often as the older generation do.

"But I do think it's quite important, because every vote counts, really."

Kayla, a first-time voter from from Newport
Kayla said she finds out more information about the general election from chats with her boss than she does from UK prime minister Rishi Sunak [BBC]

Kayla Shaw, an 18-year-old first-time voter from Newport, says she thinks she will vote in the general election.

But she says she'd find it easier if information about the election could be simplified and communicated more clearly.

She said: "I don’t know all these big terminologies, so it would be nice to have more clarity on the election.

"I think I will vote. I talk about it a lot with my boss, I get more information about it from her than Rishi Sunak!

"I’ll definitely look more into voting, because it's my future it affects really."

Danielle Madden, from Newport
Danielle says politicians "don’t understand" how hard it is for people with a low income [BBC]

Danielle Madden, 28, from Newport, said: "I've voted every time, I think it’s the only way change is going to happen.

"A lot of young people aren’t happy with the state of the government, politics and the NHS, and a lot of people I know say 'what’s the point' in voting, as nothing’s going to change," she said.

"But I completely disagree, because change is never going to happen unless we put the effort in.

"I feel like a lot of politicians don’t understand our views, the majority of them have never lived our lives.

"For example, Newport isn't exactly the high-earning capital of the UK compared to say, London, and they’ve not been in people's shoes so they don’t understand how hard it is for low-income people to get what they need."

Harri Thomas from Newport
Harri was one of the few young people at BBC Radio 4's Any Questions in Newport Cathedral on Friday [BBC]

Harri Thomas, 24, from Newport, was at BBC R4's Any Questions? last Friday.

He said: "I've voted twice before, and I’ll be voting this time.

"I think it's important to vote and exercise your democratic rights.

"People have fought for your right to vote so you need to use it."

Dr Elen Jones, vice-chair of the chartist movement in Newport
Dr Elin Jones said she would "love" young people to become more active in politics [BBC]

Some of that fighting for the right to vote took place in Newport itself in the 19th Century.

On 4 November 1839, a group called the Chartists, who wanted rights and political influence for the working classes, marched into Newport to protest.

More than 50 people were seriously injured and about 22 were killed.

Dr Elen Jones, who is vice-chair of Our Chartist Heritage in Newport, said she would "love to see a new Chartist movement" in Wales and for young people to become more active in politics.

She said: "I believe people think 'well, I'm all right and comfortable, what have the politicians ever done for me?', and I can understand why people think that.

"Also there's a great view of disillusionment with politics and politicians at the moment, and I think that is a tragedy.

"It should not be like that, but many politicians, sadly, have lost sight of what is important."

"I don't think many people know about the Chartists, which is a shame as it should empower people.

Voting: Who can I vote for in the general election?

Poll tracker: How do parties compare?

General election 2024: All BBC stories and analysis

Register to vote graphic
Tuesday 18 June is the last day you can register to vote for the upcoming election [BBC]