March 16, 2010 05:00 ET

Britain’s Ballot Box Virgins Cast Their Vote

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - March 16, 2010) -

Editors Note: There is a video associated with this Press Release.

The three E's will determine the vote for Britain's first timers according to a new poll.

Research by independent education foundation Edge reveals education is an important election issue for the country's 18-22 year olds, followed by employment, the economy and health and social care.

Reflecting widely-held concerns in the current recession, two fifths of young people (44 per cent) say they believe education is more important now than it was at the last election.

Fresh out of school themselves, a third (38 per cent) say they don't think education in this country works well. If they were in charge, various changes would be made - more than three quarters (78 per cent) would introduce more practical and vocational learning, 74 per cent increased work-based options, and 71 per cent a broader curriculum.

The findings by Edge are revealed ahead of the launch of the first ever election broadcast generated completely by the public at the House of Commons on Tuesday 16th March. The broadcast gives the public, including young people, a voice on the changes they would like make to the education system including more practical and vocational learning.

Three quarters (74 per cent) of first time voters say the government should ensure there are enough university places to accommodate the number of people who want to go to there.

As far as Britain's virgin voters are concerned, Labour and Conservative are neck and neck both scoring 16 per cent on who has the best education policy. Perhaps more telling is that 43 per cent of young people don't know if there are significant differences in the main parties' education policies, suggesting that the parties are failing to get their messages across to first-time voters.

Chairman of Edge, Lord Baker, commented: "Edge has provided a platform for the public to have their say via all methods of communication from Twitter to video messages. The outcome is the first ever election broadcast generated completely by the public.

"The time is right for the next Government to make sure the current system helps all young people realise their individual talents. They must be able to recognise the many paths to success that come from a high quality education combining academic, practical and vocational learning."

Edge is inviting the general public teachers, parents and young people, to watch the broadcast ahead of this year's general election at www.edge.co.uk/haveyoursay and to have their say.

Notes to Editors

About the research

The research was conducted by PCP Ltd between 18th February and 1st March 2010. Total sample size was 1537 people aged 18 and over living in England. Responses were obtained online. A quota was set to ensure 500 responses were obtained from people aged between 18 and 22 who would not have voted in the last election. Results were weighted by age and region to be representative of the population.

About Edge 

Edge is an independent education foundation. It is dedicated to raising the stature of practical and vocational learning, so that all young people have the opportunity to achieve their potential, and the UK's future workforce is equipped with the skills to be successful in the modern economy. Edge believes that 'learning by doing' is as important as academic learning, and that there are many paths to success. For more information visit www.edge.co.uk.

To view the video associated with this press release, please visit the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIxe2nmHIqw.


Contact Information

  • Band & Brown Communications
    Sarah Davidson
    020 7419 6950
    Band & Brown Communications
    Zoe Penn
    020 7419 6950