Why do young people abstain so much?

Young people largely abstain from elections, for what reasons? In our podcast Wait a minute !, we find “Presidential minute! », our weekly meeting devoted to the electoral campaign for the Elysée.

Multiple and sometimes complex reasons?

Abstention, that is to say the absence of a vote by a voter, is by far the favorite candidate of young people in the elections… In the first round of the presidential election of 2022, 4 voters from less than 35 out of 10 did not vote. In the regional elections of 2021, abstention had broken through the ceiling among 18-24 year olds: nearly 9 out of 10 voters had abstained.

Why is the abstention rate among young people increasing? Is it indifference, a supposed lack of civic-mindedness, or linked to “poor registration” on the electoral lists? What do the new forms of participation reveal? To answer, Anne Muxel, research director in sociology and political science CNRS at Cevipof (Sciences Po). She is the author, among others, of Politically young (Editions de l’Aube), and co-author of The French on the edge of engagement ( Dawn editions).

In this episode, Anne Muxel first returns to a “structural over-abstention of young people”, which she designates as a time of “political moratorium”. ” [Cette sur-abstention] has always existed since young people had the right to vote at 18, in 1974, she notes. This structural abstention is linked to this age of life, to the fact that during the time of youth, we are taken by other emergencies, by conditions of social, economic, residential integration, which are not always easy. .

What weight of “mis-registration”?

Another element of explanation for this over-abstention: the “mis-registration” on the electoral lists. “It concerns between 4 out of 10 young people, especially when approaching their thirties. The 25-34 year olds are particularly concerned because many of them have remained registered at their parents’ home, so they evolve [et déménagent] in terms of studies and professional trajectory”, continues the research director.

However, Anne Muxel notes that while there is a “generational divide” in terms of voting, young people are not at all depoliticized. “The range of democratic uses has widened and diversified”, with alternating voting in elections, and different forms of participation in the life of the city, such as political mobilization on the Internet and social networks.

To listen to the rest of this interview, it’s in the audio player above. Wait a minute ! is a generalist news podcast from 20 minutes. You can listen to it on all online listening apps and platformsas apple podcast, Spotify, Deezer Where podcast addict for example. Feel free to rate us and leave a comment on your favorite platform. To write to us: [email protected]

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