It is not until the age of 15 that a majority of people think it is acceptable to have started encouraging a child to take an interest in politics
Last week a new Momentum-related group called Momentum Kids was launched. The group seeks to increase “children’s involvement in Momentum and the labour movement by promoting political activity that is fun, engaging and child-friendly”, whilst also providing childcare for parents and carers.
Momentum Kids will engage with children as young as three years old – activities publicised include imagining the party your favourite toy might lead and creating placards for a mock protest. But is it ok to encourage such young children to engage with politics? At what age does the public think it’s ok for someone to start encouraging a child to get into politics?
New YouGov research finds that it is not until the age of 15 that a majority of people think it is ok to have started encouraging a child to take an interest in politics. There is a left/right split, however, with voters for left wing parties more likely to think it is ok to politically encourage children at younger ages.
The age by which the majority of Lib Dem voters think it is ok to have started politically encouraging children is 13, and it is 14 for Labour voters. For Conservative voters, that age is 15, and it is 16 for UKIP voters.
Left wing voters are especially more keen on getting children engaged at younger ages. Nearly a quarter of Labour (24%) and Lib Dem (23%) voters think it is appropriate to have started politically encouraging a child by the age of 10 (compared to 10% of Conservatives and 8% of Ukippers).
Far fewer voters support getting children engaged at very young ages. Momentum Kids itself will look after children as young as three years old, but just 3% of Labour voters think that it is ok to politically encourage kids under the age of five, compared to 5% of Lib Dems and a statistical 0% of Conservative/UKIP supporters.
The reason for left wingers’ enthusiasm for getting children politically engaged at a younger age could be because they tend to be earlier political bloomers themselves. The majority of Lib Dem voters say that they had become politically aware by the age of 16, whilst the majority of Labour voters reached this point by the age of 17.
By contrast, the majority of Conservative voters reached political awareness by the age of 18, and the majority of UKIP voters weren’t politically aware until the age of 20.