Interview by Clare Cullen
Speaking to Independent.ie, a representative said that Irish millennials "are not hugely different from their international counterparts" but that "issues specific to Ireland, such as the debates around the Eighth Amendment or Irish Water, have emerged as focal points".
They said that the interest in the referendum earlier this year has not transferred "to the political parties in the way they would have hoped", with just twelve percent reporting themselves as "very interested" in politics.
Politics came second-last among Irish interests, just beating religion. Music, film, cinema, cooking and using social media all ranked at the top of the list. When asked to rank a number of items in order of importance, "taking an interest in politics" came last, in seventeenth place, after good health, "being happy" and spending time with friends and family.
85 percent of those surveyed reported being happy with their lives and eighty percent were "optimistic for the future".
73 percent agreed that "the views of young people are largely ignored by most politicians" and 44 percent agreed that "most politicians want to control and restrict young people". Only seventeen percent agreed that "most politicians want the best possible future for young people".
61 percent of respondents voted in the Marriage Equality referendum, and 66 percent said they vote 'tomorrow'. Sinn Fein was the most popular party among respondents, with sixteen percent of the vote. Fine Gael were second, with eleven percent, and Independents came third with nine percent. Renua Ireland and the Worker's Party came last with one percent each.
62 percent said they have not changed their voting preferences since the last election, almost five years ago. 38 percent reported that they had changed. 30-34 olds were the most likely to have changed their vote, with 42 percent reporting a change.
The number one reason millenials claim they don't vote is due to a "lack of trust in politicans".
Read the full report here.
The survey was run by Millennial Dialogue and surveyed over a thousand millennials in a number of countries.
Overall, the survey found that German millennials were happiest with their political system and current leader. 95 percent reported that the country's politicians were "ensuring equality of opportunities for all" and 91% said hey were "ensuring the well-being of the elderly". They reported that "the state of the environment" was the most important issue to them.
Millennials in Italy and Poland reported feeling let down by politics and their politicans. Italian millennials reported that the only thing their politicians had delivered on was "building and maintaining a strong military force", which ranked last among their list of priorities.
Austrian millennials were the happiest, with 92 percent reporting that they were happy, followed by the US and Germany tied on 89 percent. Canada, Poland, the UK, Italy and Hungary finished out the polls.
The survey found that just 16% of US 15-34 year olds considered themselves 'very interested' in politics.
Seven percent said they took part in "occasional" political meetings and eleven percent said they had taken part in protests.
72 percent said that, despite their low interest, if asked to vote 'tomorrow' they would do so.
In the UK, seventeen percent reported themselves as "very interested" in politics, while eighteen percent said they were "not at all interested".
"Taking an interest in politics" came last in their list of priorities, coming in at seventeenth place after "making money", "being connected to friends via social media" and "being free to do and say what I want".
Seventy percent said that they felt politicians "ignore the views of young people".
41 percent reported that their generation is, in their opinion, less interested in politics' than their parents'.
Just six percent reported taking part in political meetings compared to 31 percent who take part in team sports.
Tthe Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) and the Center for American Progress (CAP) began the ‘Millennial Dialogue’, to understand the aspirations, key issues and values of those aged between 15 and 34 and how these affect their interaction with politics. They engaged the services of AudienceNet to use innovative research methods and connected technologies to give voice to the millennial generation across four continents, providing the most comprehensive international survey of its kind. The Irish round of the project has been completed just in time for the General Election.
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