Almost 3,000 new voters could sway possible second referendum

PUBLISHED: 12:03 13 April 2019

Around 2,800 teenagers will have become eligible to vote in East Devon since the Brexit vote. Picture: Getty/Alxey Pnferov

Around 2,800 teenagers will have become eligible to vote in East Devon since the Brexit vote. Picture: Getty/Alxey Pnferov

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By the end of 2019, almost 3,000 teenagers will have become eligible to vote in East Devon since the Brexit vote, data reveals.

Youngsters overwhelmingly voted to remain in 2016 but the newly eligible voters would be unlikely to swing the area’s vote in a second referendum.

East Devon voted in favour of leave by 54.1 per cent to 45.9 per cent with a margin of 7,300 votes.

The People’s Vote campaign says there should be a new poll on EU membership so that the future of young people are not decided for them.

Office for National Statistics data shows that the number of attainers, who are people who turn 18 and become eligible to vote by December 1 this year, will have increased by 2,752 in East Devon since the EU referendum in June 2016.

The estimate is calculated by combining the number of attainers for the last three years with half of those who became eligible to vote in 2016.

National polls suggest that new voters are likely to vote remain and that almost three quarters of 18 to 24-year-olds would vote to stay in the EU.

Across the country, more than one million teenagers will have become eligible by December. The referendum was decided by 1.26 million votes.

For our Future’s Sake (FFS), a youth movement in the People’s Vote campaign, believes there should be a second referendum to allow new voters to have their say.

Kira Lewis, from FFS, said: “Like hundreds of thousands of other young people, I watched helplessly as my future was decided for me.

“A whole generation were deemed old enough to drive, serve in the armed forces and get married, but not trusted to make a decision on our futures.

“We now know the costs to our economy and our sovereignty - whatever deal Parliament decides.

“It is right and fair that young people, and the rest of the country, get an opportunity to have their say in a people’s vote.”

In the most recent round of indicative votes, held on April 1 in the House of Commons, 280 MPs voted for a confirmatory second referendum and 292 voted against it. A further 66 abstained.

The Prime Minister, Theresa May, has said she opposes a second referendum, as the public has made their decision.

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