Schools making up an ‘electorate’ of over 46,000 young people returned their results to the Hansard Society’s 2019 Mock Elections, which were held to coincide with the December general election and continued a series extending back over 50 years. Labour emerged as the clear ‘winner’ of the 2019 mock poll.
‘Turnout’ across the participating schools was 72% – higher than the 67% figure for the real general election, and representing over 30,000 young people casting their vote.
The results differed markedly from the real general election outcome:
- Labour emerged as the clear winner, with a 33.9% vote share.
- The Liberal Democrats came second, with 20.5%.
- The Conservatives were third, with 18.7%.
- The Green Party was fourth, with 15.6%.
(The figures in this post differ marginally from those we announced on 12 December, owing to a number of schools submitting their results after the deadline for inclusion in the announcement on the evening of the general election.)
Across the participating schools, roughly equal numbers of candidates (between 55 and 59) stood for each of these four leading parties. Thirty-two candidates stood for the Brexit Party, which came fifth with 3.5% of the vote.
In total, over 300 pupils and students stood as candidates.
Forty-nine stood as candidates for made-up parties, as independents, or as candidates for parties falling outside the best-placed five, including the Pirate Party, Plaid Cymru, the SNP, UKIP and the Women’s Equality Party. Of the made-up parties, several evidenced environmental priorities (the Save our World Party, the Exit Plastic Party), and others suggested local school-level concerns (the More Outside and Inside Equipment Party).
#MockElections2019 on social media
In Northumberland, Ponteland High’s Mock Election was covered by ITV News Tyne Tees:
Many other participating schools and teachers also shared images of their Mock Elections on social media:
The candidates for the 2019 @BuryGrammar Mock Election squared off at lunchtime today in our traditional hustings. A most lively and entertaining event, one of the best I have been involved with. Many thanks to the five candidates and the good-humoured audience. Roll on Thursday! pic.twitter.com/kNjXGoPxX2— BGSB History (@BGSBHISTORY) December 10, 2019
Today we held a whole school mock election to give our students a view on what a real political election process is like & help to prepare them for when they are eligible to vote! Even our Principal cast a vote! pic.twitter.com/IQvZ1fRa7f— Eltham Hill School (@ElthamHill) December 12, 2019
Our polling station is open! Students have been voting in our mock election during Learnacy. They are also able to vote at break and lunch. #MockElections2019#GE2019#vote#participation#electionpic.twitter.com/B0imWWkSEW— Ladybridge RE & Citizenship (@LadybridgeReCit) December 12, 2019
Here are the results of our mock election...... Green 54, Labour 33, Liberal Democrats 33, Brexit 11, Conservatives 8. #MockElections2019 Well done to all of our Y6 candidates but congratulations to our Green Party team. pic.twitter.com/jfHlNQHsoZ— St Oswald's School (@stoswaldsdurham) December 12, 2019
It's #MockElection Day at Queenswood. After weeks of campaigning from the four 'candidates', girls and staff are going to the polls. The results will be announced help to build a UK-wide picture of how the political landscape would be affected if young people had the vote. pic.twitter.com/NW0SGUXBwR— Queenswood School (@QueenswoodSch) December 10, 2019
Hansard Society Mock Elections
One of the oldest and largest civic education projects anywhere in the world, Mock Elections has been run by the Hansard Society at every UK general election for over 50 years.
In 2019, the Society again made available a free download of all the resources teachers and pupils needed to run a mock poll.
Research has shown that participating in citizenship-related activities at school, such as mock elections, makes young people more likely to have positive attitudes towards political participation as adults and more likely to engage in political activity. This applies even when controlling for other relevant factors, such as higher levels of formal education.
Several candidates in the real 2019 general election, as well as former MPs and other prominent political figures, participated in mock elections when they were at school and were inspired to go on to Westminster.
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