The Ardern Effect doesn't translate to enrolments for youth voters

New voter registration figures have cast doubt on predictions of a so-called "youth-quake" of support for Labour leader Jacinda Ardern.

Of almost 800,000 young voters between 28- and 29-year-olds, the majority is enrolled to vote. Yet roughly a quarter of a million still haven't registered, and 22-year-old Anna Dyson is one of them.

Speaking to Newshub, Ms Dyson insisted that while she had never voted before, she certainly would this time around. Her enthusiasm was all part of the Ardern Effect. 

"I like Jacinda. She brings a real young, fresh vibe about it," she said.

This vibe, however, doesn't translate to enrolments.

In the four weeks to August 23, fewer than 17,000 young voters had enrolled, down comparatively from the same period of time ahead of the last election, where more than 21,000 had enrolled. 

Pitching his own to punters in an Auckland mall, Prime Minister Bill English conceded to Newshub the youth vote can be hard to capture at times, but he says his party has plenty to offer.

"Youth will respond to confidence in their future and a plan that unfolds for them. I don't think they'll respond to vague statements that don't mean much," he said.

"We're reaching youth voters every way we can, particularly through social media. We've got a strong social media presence."

Ms Ardern echoed a similar sentiment, emphasising the importance of this particular election.

"I'm hoping they're hearing a message that talks a lot about their future," she said.

Of the crowds eager to see Mr English at Lynn Mall, however, barely any of them fit the age bracket of 18- to 29-year-olds.

As the figures show, it's the youth vote which has the potential to sway the election, and expanding this connection to under-30s will be both leaders' challenge over the coming weeks.

Newshub. 

 

 

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