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Could you be happy without a vote?

By now, the people have Wales have answered over 50,000 individual questions, and with the data flowing in, it’s time to begin some analysis! As I was driving from Caernarfon to Bethesda this morning, my attention was taken the rows of colourful signs at the side of the road which are promoting one political party or another. Yes, it’s election time in Wales, and this seems a good time for us to analyse the questions about voting.

Over 750 people have answered the Generation Beth questionnaire in Wales, with numbers rising every day. While the sample in Wales is comparatively small at the moment, it does give us a good start point to look at the question, ‘Could you be happy without a vote?’

From these answers, 74% of people said that no, they couldn’t be happy without a vote. This is a very significant percentage which demonstrates the the importance of democracy to the people of Wales. In a period of uncertainty as a result of the current economic environment of austerity and cut-backs, it is obvious that voting is important to most of our ‘Millennials’.

In the modern era, the right to vote is not restive by race, religion, or gender in Britain. But this hasn’t always been the case. Remember that a hundred years ago, women had no right to vote in the parliamentary elections in Britain, so it’s interesting to look at the Generation Beth data according to gender. Well on the whole, the difference in attitude between men and women is tiny, with just 2% more women than men saying that they could not be happy without a vote. But the data suggests at the moment, that the right to vote is just as important, if not more important to women than it is to men.

What about the differences according to age? Well the results from young people between 18-25 and 26-34 are almost the same. 76% of young people between 18 and 25, and 77% of young people between 26 and 34 said that they could not be happy without a vote. The interesting thing is the reduction in percentage for people over 34 years old. From this group, 72% say they could not be happy without a vote, while 28% said they could.

Possibly the most interesting data to examine can be found by comparing the Welsh results with answers from other countries in Europe. It is apparent from examining the answers that people in Wales are among the highest percentage of those who could not be happy without a vote. Only Bulgaria and Greece score higher. As it stands, the two countries with a majority who could be happy without a vote are Italy and Ireland. While the 51% majority in Italy is tiny, the results from Ireland are incredible, with 90% of respondents saying that they’d be happy without a vote.

To summarise, with almost three quarters of Welsh respondents noting that they could not be happy without a vote, it’s safe to say that the data shows the demand for a right to give an opinion on matters which influence the lives of Welsh people. It will be interesting to see how many people make the most of that right when it comes to voting in the election!

Shân Pritchard