A large proportion of people under the age of 35 are planning not to vote in this week’s local and Euro elections. And, of those people that have made up their minds who they will be voting for, nearly half say they will vote for a different party than in the last election.

These are just two of the findings from a survey conducted for The Munster Express in Waterford by the Kilkenny market research firm, Market Dynamics. The following is a summary of the main findings:-

* A total of 42% of survey respondents in the 18-24 age groups say they plan not to vote in the local elections while for the Euro elections, the figure is 47%. Among those aged 25-34 the picture is not much better with 30% planning to avoid the local elections and 34% the Euro poll.


* Overall, 33% of respondents plan to vote for a different party than last time in the local election but this rises to 47% when those who don’t know and the non-voters are excluded. More women (52%) than men (40%) plan to vote differently from last time.


* In addition to the 21% who plan not to vote in the Euro elections, there is confusion too with 27% claiming they don’t know whom they will vote for. The proportion of people who will vote differently to last time in the Euro election is slightly lower at 28% but higher at 55% when the ‘don’t know’ and non-voters are excluded.


Angriest people

* The angriest people, if voting intentions are an appropriate measure, are in the 45-59 age-group. A total of 42% in this category expects to vote for a different party than last time.

* The biggest proportion of ‘undecideds’ is in the 60+ age group with 36% claiming not to know what party they will vote for in the local elections.

* Voters from Waterford City are twice as likely not to vote (20%) in the local elections as those from other parts of the county. However, those outside the city are far more likely to be unsure of who they will vote for (27%).

Commenting on the results, John Gilsenan, Market Dynamics MD said: “The findings suggest that there is a radical difference in the attitude of under 35s and over 35s to the elections. While many in the older category will voice their displeasure by voting for a different party than last time, a very high proportion of the under-35s will do so by staying away. In our survey, 36% of the under-35s expect not to vote in the local elections compared to just 4% of over-35s. If this happens in reality this week, it will make a very negative statement about people’s faith in the political system. It suggests that they see all politicians in the same light.”

The survey of 233 adults was conducted in Waterford city and county in the first week of May 2009. Market Dynamics is a market research firm based in Inistioge, Co, Kilkenny.