With one week to go until the Euro Elections (May 23) a poll suggests young people will be key in  seeing off extremists at the ballot box.

With many Muslims fasting there is also a fear voter apathy could allow far-right extremist Tommy Robinson to get elected in the North West.

A YouGov poll commissioned by HOPE not hate and the National Education Union (NEU reveals that young people could be the decisive factor in the European elections - but only if they turn out at higher levels than they currently expect to do.

According to the poll large numbers of 18-24 year-olds reject the divisive message of extremist candidates such as ‘Tommy Robinson’ and the radical right politics of Nigel Farage, as well as UKIP. 

Only 7% of voters aged 18-24 say they have a favourable or very favourable view of anti-Muslim extremist ‘Tommy Robinson’ (Stephen Yaxley-Lennon), with 45% saying they have an unfavourable or very unfavourable view of him.

Similarly over two-thirds (69%) view Nigel Farage unfavourably, with less than 1-in-5 (19%) having a favourable view.

But with only 41% of young people saying they are certain to vote in the European Parliamentary elections.

HOPE not hate’s chief executive, Nick Lowles, said: “Young people clearly have a highly negative view of extremists candidates like ‘Tommy Robinson’, but it’s not enough to dislike him from the comfort of your sofa. If turnout is really low, he could win. Anyone who doesn’t want that to happen needs to register to vote before next Tuesday.”

Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said, “We hope all candidates will think about the fact that education shows up within the top four most important issues for young people. 

“This poll shows young people care deeply about Brexit but also about education. The NEU is confident that education will prove to be one of the major issues in the next election. 

“What’s interesting is how many young people in this poll connect the Brexit debates to the legitimisation of prejudice towards migrant and BME families. The rise in racism must be challenged by us all. We need to use both education and all public debate to counter the ideas which drive racism and racist violence.”

The youth vote could make a difference between which candidates get elected in each region. In the North West, for example, the youth vote will be decisive in deciding whether or not ‘Tommy Robinson’ is elected. 
Based on current polling, 2% or less separates parties for the final seat available in 9 of the 12 regions.
Young voters cite Brexit (43%), the environment (36%) and health (28%) as the top three issues facing themselves and their families.

The EU elections take place on May 23. You do not need to register again if you already did for the Council elections.