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Big majority of teenagers care about politics, survey finds

More than four out of five 16- to 18-year-olds care about politics, according to research by YouGov and Speakers for Schools.

While just 4 per cent say they don't care at all, most teenagers believe the political system needs wholesale reform.

Over half believe British politics is outdated, while 62 per cent say online voting should be introduced. Eighty-five per cent believe that politicians' use of social media is ineffective.

The findings have been released to coincide with the launch today of a campaign by the Speakers for Schools charity to engage young people with politics and the forthcoming general election.

Today will see a debate hosted in a Manchester school chaired by broadcaster Rick Edwards with panellists Brie Rogers Lowery, the UK Director of change.org, Facebook's Elizabeth Linder, journalist John Pienaar and Harry Lambert of May2015.com. It will be live-streamed by the TES.

The campaign is backed by the leaders of all three major political parties.

The survey also found young people backed proportional representation, however there were divided opinions on whether the voting age should be lowered to 16. 

"[There is an ] incredible hunger among people for our mainstream politicians to talk with them more, via the technology they use, traditional personal contact and - perhaps most importantly - using language they understand," the founder of Speakers for Schools founder, journalist Robert Peston, said.

"Perhaps most striking in this age of coalitions is that the school students show little attachment for our first-past-the post electoral system, and express a preference for a more proportional voting system". 

 

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