Jeremy Corbyn can be Britain’s next Prime Minister. But for it to happen, it will require something that has never happened before. It requires young people to turn up to the polling booths in their droves.
In 2015, just 43% of 18-24 year olds turned up to vote. And given the fact that both main parties towed an extraordinarily uninspiring centrist policy platform, I fully understood why other young voters like myself felt so underwhelmed.
Nowhere was Ed Miliband raving about scrapping tuition fees or properly clamping down on tax evasion. And David Cameron’s 2015 manifesto certainly didn’t advocate renationalising the NHS or the railways. And to top off this apathy-inducing cocktail, both manifestos were also heavily focused on continuing an already-failing policy of austerity and cuts to vital public services.
With policies as bland and banal as Miliband’s and Cameron’s, it’s little wonder that young voters felt that their vote wouldn’t be worth anything.
But just two years down the track and things have changed drastically. The 2017 Labour manifesto is the polar-opposite of its Tory counterpart. It contains some of the most radical policies Britain has seen since Clement Attlee introduced the NHS and the Welfare State in 1945. Policies that, to British eyes at least, might seem relatively far out, but are actually already perfectly mainstream implementations in much of Europe and Scandinavia.
And, what’s more, Labour’s manifesto is chock full of ideas that will benefit the lives of young people immensely.