Saturday 3 December 2016

Young voters are right to smell a rat in presidential age frivolity

Liam Fay

Published 05/04/2015 | 02:30

Niall Horan - would his presidential candidature be any more daft than previous celebrity suggestions?
Niall Horan - would his presidential candidature be any more daft than previous celebrity suggestions?

The kids are alright. According to the polls, in fact, the majority of the nation's young people are much more politically alert than the greybeards of the political class would like to think. Last week saw publication of intriguing research which suggests growing opposition to what we seem to be obliged to call the 'other' constitutional referendum taking place in May: the Government's proposal that the age of eligibility for a presidential candidate be lowered from 35 to 21.

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Gratifyingly, this opposition is conspicuously pronounced among younger voters, the demographic which was supposed to be dazzled and delighted by the Coalition's offer of an insultingly frivolous bauble.

Figures from the survey conducted by RTÉ in association with Amarach Research show that almost 70pc of the populace are against the age-lowering. To nobody's surprise, resistance to the idea of a whippersnapper in the Áras is strongest among older voters - with only 13pc of those over the age of 55 thinking that 21-year-olds should be allowed to run for the presidency.

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