Young people vote Liberal Democrats in mock elections

From: Hansard Society
Published: Mon May 16 2005

The Liberal Democrats have won with an overwhelming majority of the vote of young people in the 2005 Y Vote Mock Elections. The Conservatives were voted in second place and Labour in third.

The results, published today by the Hansard Society, The Electoral Commission and the Department for Education and Skills, show a clear difference between the political attitudes of voters in the mock elections and their adult counterparts. The young voters revealed their massive support for the UK’s third largest party – who gained 42 per cent of school pupils’ votes. The Conservatives received 24 per cent, and Labour 17 per cent.

Approximately 800,000 pupils at more than 2,100 schools registered for the Y Vote Mock Elections – making this year’s the largest in the programme’s 50 year history.

Of the other parties, pupils favoured the Green Party with 13 per cent of the vote (45 seats) and UKIP with 1 per cent (5 seats) – both of which failed to return a single candidate on 5 May. In total, single-issue parties won 17 per cent of seats – more than three times higher than in the general election. Mirroring the 5 May result, Respect – The Unity Coalition Party won Bethnal Green and Bow and neighbouring East Ham. The Scottish Socialist Party and Scottish National Party won 2 seats each in Scotland, while Plaid Cymru won 1 seat in Wales.

But there are also signs that the nation’s young mock election voters are attracted to the lighter side of politics – The Official Monster Raving Loony Party, who also failed to return any candidates in the Westminster elections, secured 2 election victories in the school vote.

Political Party Y Vote Mock Election result 2005 official general election result
Labour 61 356
Conservative 83 197
Liberal Democrats 145 62
DUP 1 9
SNP 2 6
Sinn Fein - 5
Plaid Cymru 1 3
SDLP - 3
UUP - 1
Respect 2 1
Ind Kid Hosp - 1
UKIP 5 -
Green 45 -
BNP - -
SSP 2 -
Official Monster Raving Loony Party 2 -

Table showing comparison of seats gained in 2005 Y Vote Mock Elections (349 seats) and the general election (645 seats)

The Y Vote Mock Elections aim to boost young people’s interest in politics by providing a unique opportunity to get involved in the excitement of a school election.

Students across the UK were involved in a range of election activities – from standing as candidates, writing speeches and manifestos, and reporting for their school newspapers, to designing posters and building ballot boxes. As campaigns have drawn to a close in recent weeks, students have had their first real taste of voting in a live election.

Teachers running mock elections received a Y Vote resource pack, which included teachers’ notes and supporting materials, a step-by-step guide to the mock elections, activity ideas and manifesto guides to all the political parties represented at Westminster.

Michael Raftery, Mock Elections Project Manager at the Hansard Society, said: "It is fantastically encouraging to see that so many students took part in this year’s mock elections. The results indicate that young people – who are affected less by policies on taxation, for example – often take a greater interest in broader issues that they feel passionate about, such as the environment. This has translated into a far larger number of votes cast for single-issue parties than in the general election."

Beccy Earnshaw, Outreach Manager at The Electoral Commission, said: "Evidence suggests that a lack of understanding about politics is one of the main barriers to young people’s participation in elections. By giving young people across the UK the opportunity to experience the electoral process and political campaigning first hand, the Y Vote Mock Elections have encouraged thousands of pupils to learn about politics in an active, fun and engaging way."


For further information contact:
Michael Raftery for the Hansard Society on 020 7395 4019 or email
Rachael Shaw or Julie Parmenter for The Electoral Commission on 0207 419 7335 / 7327 or email /

Notes to editors:

1. The Electoral Commission is an independent body established by Parliament. It aims to ensure public confidence and participation in the democratic process within the United Kingdom through modernisation of the electoral process and promotion of public awareness of electoral matters.

2. The Hansard Society is an independent, non-partisan, educational charity which exists to promote effective parliamentary democracy.

Company: Hansard Society
Contact Name: Virginia Gibbons
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Contact Phone: 020 7395 4010

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