Politicians and pressure groups are much more likely to engage young people in politics through the Internet than more traditional methods, according to new ESRC-funded research. The research, which was carried out by NOP as part of the ESRC`s Democracy and Participation Research Programme, showed that 15-24 year olds are three times more likely to be politically active through the Internet than traditional political activities.
There has been much concern that only 40 per cent of 18-24 year olds voted in the 2001 general election. Dr Stephen Ward, Project Director and Lecturer in Politics, said: “Politicians are worried about the low turnout and supposed political apathy among young people. This research should be studied closely by parties and pressure groups keen to engage them with politics.”
The survey also found that campaigning still benefits from the personal touch, with internet users more willing to respond to emailed political messages passed on by friends. When political messages are emailed by friends, only 10 per cent would ignore them, compared to 29 per cent who would skip impersonal ‘spam’ political emails.
Lesley Lilley | alfa
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