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Youth voting – Political Marketing Research: Democracy Threatened?

Our research examines young (18-22) first-time voters’ attitudes towards negative political advertising as well as their trust in politicians and political parties.

It is the only long term academic research that has tracked first-time voters’ attitudes since the 2001 General Election with the recent 2017 General Election data currently being analysed to investigate, for example, whether a ‘Corbyn effect’ existed.

Our results suggest that negative advertising, particularly adverts directly attacking politicians rather than their policies, puts young people off politics and contributes to their non-voting behaviour. Similarly, our research confirms that distrust rather than trust of politicians and political parties exists amongst our first-time voters.

This is also reflected in their levels of cynicism, lack of personal efficacy and alienation which also contributes to their non-voting behaviour. Thus, our research clearly shows that politicians behaviour and political party marketing strategy can directly threaten our democracy by creating successive generations of non-voters.

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by Dr Stuart Hamner-Lloyd

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Find out more about this research project on the emerald insight website

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This research forms part of the Applied Business and Technology research priority area.