Labour MP for South Swindon, and staunch party loyalist, Anne Snelgrove (right) yesterday talked about reasons for not voting and how to incentivise the young to vote. Some ideas were just about making voting easy, by text, email or online for example, but a more radical idea came out of her talk to Swindon's New College students: "offering people cash or money off their council tax bill".
When will these deluded politicians realise that it is not about ease of voting, it is not about being paid (though certainly for a reasonable fee most young people would vote), it is about feeling that voting is important enough to 'be bothered', 'make the effort' and gain the information to make an informed choice. Gone are the days when the majority of voters like herds of cattle would flock out and vote for their respective parties.
Unless the voter can have an impact (in marginal seats), feel the election is important (the government may change or a particular MP needs saving), and are engaged by the parties, they are not going to bother. So don't offer cheap incentives, change the electoral system, ensure the parties are significantly different, and communicate ideas as well as image, then we may actually see voters voting.