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Age over youth? How the ‘grandfather impact’ is shaping world politics


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As millennial and post-millennial voters change into the biggest group of voters around the globe, Flinders College specialists warn that the ‘grandfather impact’ has seen individuals from earlier generations retain or elected to workplace at a complicated age.

This follows a brand new examine of 1,000 younger voters which has busted the parable that youthful voters desire younger political leaders—which is obvious with solely a handful of world leaders being aged underneath 39 years.

The political science examine discovered that age (as much as 70 and older) and expertise gained the youth vote, offered the older candidates have left-of-center insurance policies that help youthful voters’ positions on social and identification points.

“Though older candidates with left-wing insurance policies have been most popular, this was typically however not at all times essentially the case with youthful candidates,” says Flinders College Affiliate Professor Rodrigo Praino, an electoral habits analyst on the School of Enterprise, Authorities and Regulation.

“We got down to discover why youthful voters are drawn to older male candidates in multiple superior western democracy—elevating questions on whether or not there’s something ‘totally different’ in regards to the voting habits of millennials and post-millennials.”

Whereas massive numbers of younger voters help younger leaders operating for workplace—similar to Jacinda Adern in New Zealand in 2020—they’ll additionally present robust help for comparatively older candidates similar to Bernie Sanders within the US and Jeremy Corbyn within the UK—and even candidates aged 80+ similar to Germany’s Greens MP Hans-Christian Ströbele.

“Our examine reveals that millennials and post-millennials don’t appear to show any form of intergenerational bias in opposition to older candidates,” says Affiliate Professor Praino.

“In different phrases, the younger voters at the moment look like joyful to help older candidates, offered their coverage stances are according to what the younger voters really feel is essential to them.”

Millennials or Gen Y voters born between about 1981 and 1996 at the moment are aged of their 20s and 30s—and post-millennials (Gen Z) born between 1997 and 2012 are coming into voting energy. They observe Gen X (1965-1980) and Boomer generations, lots of whom are retired or heading into retirement.

The Flinders College examine reveals that opposite to the descriptive illustration literature, younger voters are “considerably extra prone to help older candidates if they’re conscious that these candidates champion normal left-wing insurance policies,” says co-author Professor Charlie Lees, now based mostly on the College of London.

“All issues being equal, youthful voters don’t desire youthful candidates to older candidates,” he says.

The examine sought to grasp youthful voter turnout and engagement within the political course of to look at doable elevated illustration for youthful residents in positions of energy and nationwide decision-making.

“Regardless that younger voters are sometimes described as disengaged and disinterested in standard political participation, they’re identified to have the ability to mobilize in outstanding, non-conventional methods,” the researchers conclude.

The article is printed within the Worldwide Political Science Evaluate.

Extra info:
Charles Lees et al, Younger voters, older candidates and coverage preferences: Proof from two experiments, Worldwide Political Science Evaluate (2022). DOI: 10.1177/01925121221139544

Supplied by Flinders College

Quotation: Age over youth? How the ‘grandfather impact’ is shaping world politics (2023, January 25) retrieved 25 January 2023 from

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