On December 24, 2020, The Conservative published an interesting article by Eli Hazan about young voters in the Western world increasingly turning away from conservative parties. The election of Joe Biden as President of the United States was the first proof, according to the article, that the coronavirus epidemic can also be seen as a new development that significantly affects the elections of democracies in the Western world and generally favors opposition forces.
However, the epidemic crisis only reinforces an existing trend. There has been a growing tendency in Northern America and Europe for years, with voters in the younger generations no longer voting en masse for conservative parties, which should lead to a strategic change of direction, major changes for traditional conservative parties.
The main arena for this change should be the media, especially social media. Today, political and cultural messages are also spread through social interactions, and social media is also transforming people from content recipients to content editors, taking advantage of the Internet and online exposure opportunities. The image of the media has changed radically these days: conservative parties must be aware of this change and create an alternative that will reach as many young people as possible.
Conservative parties should also use content from social media platforms to create content that is attractive to young voters. To do this, they need to find a language that can effectively convey the messages of traditional conservative parties to young people. As the article in The Conservative puts it, the only language in which to communicate with the young generation is the “young language”.
At the same time, conservative parties can be given the opportunity by young people themselves to look for alternatives. There is a worldwide known trend for the cultural left to gain dominance in the scientific-academic scene, including the world of higher education institutions. Yet many young people understood that in order to properly base their careers, they also need to find alternative institutions where they can learn different approaches and gain new knowledge compared to mainstream views and trends.
In 2019, an interesting analysis was published by a website called Europe Elects, which monitors European election results and aggregates opinion polls. Following the European Parliament elections in May 2019, the analysis examined the extent to which voters from party families represented in the European Parliament are present in each age group. In general, it was concluded that older voters prefer to vote for conservative parties and younger ones to vote for left-wing (and green) parties, while, for example, the liberal voter base does not show age differences. This may also be due to the fact that some young voters with a migration background (typically Muslims) are less receptive to certain liberal views.
The success of left-wing and green parties is a process that is difficult to separate from the growing voting weight of young people with a migrant background, especially in Western countries. For example, the German Greens have already benefited greatly in recent years from social groups with a migrant background, and with a younger age structure. In the 2017 federal parliamentary election, the party produced the best results among young and first-time voters under the age of 25.
All these social facts and changes do not change anything about the need for conservative parties, concentrating on the younger generations, to be able to deliver messages (more attractive and repackaged with more ideas) to young voters much more effectively in the future, which can offer an attractive alternative for most of them.
Zoltan Lomnici PhD., lawyer, Hungary
Zoltan Lomnici jr. PhD., is a hungarian jurisprudent, lawyer and former lecturer of the Department of Constitutional Law at the Eötvös Loránd University, Faculty of Law and Political Sciences
Ulderico de Laurentiis • 23.11.2021.
Ulderico de Laurentiis • 23.11.2021.