View From The Side: Oaps* Are About To Shaft The Country
Today is the last day you can register your desire to vote in the upcoming general election. Without getting too Project Fear about it, it doesn’t seem too dramatic to say that today is also the day the General Election of 2017 is decided.
In April of this year, YouGov polled just shy of 13,000 people about their voting intentions. Taking on board that all polls are rubbish, only so many people respond to polls, what about Trump and Brexit etc etc blah blah- but still considering that a poll of this size has to have some relevance- when you look into the results you come to one fairly inescapable, fairly depressing conclusion: unless there’s last minute rush of registrations from the under 50s, a bunch of people approaching pension age, and pensioners themselves, are going to fuck up the country.
Here’s the table covering the figures. It may surprise you to learn that the annotations in red are mine.
The tragedy of this election – if we were to pretend it’s various sorrows could be sheared down to a single definitive bum note- is that a great part of the Conservative election strategy appears to be the (possibly well-founded) hope that British politics are so dull and so sordid and so cynical that a huge amount of people won’t even bother to register to vote. It’s well known that the amount of people who didn’t vote in the last election at all far outnumber the amount who voted for any single party – what’s less established is that the great majority of those people not voting are 1) in the younger age range of eligible voters and 2) dramatically more likely to vote for left wing parties. When the voting intentions of age ranges are put against the likelihood of voting for age ranges, the crazy skewing of the country becomes clear. If you draw an average voting intention from across the ages of 18 – 49, the Conservatives would win with 29.4% of the electorate, whilst Labour would take 37%. So, a massive result for Labour, despite Corbyn’s supposed un-electability.
Everyone loves a graph so I’ve drawn one – according to YOuGov, here’s how the election would breakdown if only the under 50s voted. And yeah I’ve written ‘Conservatives’ in comic sans because I’m petty.
Now throw in the intentions of the 50-59 year olds and the swing is so sharp the graph reverses – Tories are now on 36.7% with Labour on 29.5%- like so:
Buuuut then add in the 60+ age range and weep. Tories are on 52.2% (!!!!) Whilst Jezza languishes on a frankly pitiful 19.5%. Ai ai ai.
I guess it’s worth asking why the skew? Is it because older heads are wiser? Can they spot the innate flaws in Labour’s carefully costed manifesto, whilst noting with quiet admiration the buccaneer spirit that enables the Conservatives to publish a manifesto of almost entirely uncosted vague chat of ‘setting up a review’?
FACTOID! There are only 28 ‘£’ signs over the 88 pages of the Tory manifesto. In contrast, there are 53 ‘£’ signs across the 14 page summary alone of the Labour manifesto. Ummmm surely this suggests that only one team can;t be trusted with the money.. But who cares! I’m absolutely sure that the Tories would never row back, or indeed completely disregard, the entirely uncosted statements vague chat they’ve gone ahead and published.
I really can’t answer why there is such a dramatic skew in the over 50s, because there nothing to really justify it, except that maybe they hate life and the living and foxes. But honestly, who knows. And maybe following Theresa’s Death Tax announcement the numbers will have shifted a lil. But I doubt it.
So here's the thing. Unless a large amount of people under the age of 50 register to vote today, the country will be pulled in a negative direction by a crazy imbalance of voter intention. Essentially, an elder generation are blithely writing cheques that their children will have to cover. And if the under 50s don't want to do anything about it, it's not just OAPs dictating the direction the country takes; the apathetic fuckers letting them do it are equally culpable. Alternatively you could just register to vote. You do it here, now, and it takes 5 minutes tops. https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote .
If nothing else, just imagine the fucking party if a Corbyn style upset happened…
*I know not all OAPS obvs, don't @ me mum