Young people are increasingly backing Boris



Only three months since I made the trek to Glasgow to recommence my first year of university, I find myself writing this piece back home in sunny Suffolk, with lectures, tutorials, and all forms of assessment permanently cancelled. It’s every student’s dream – an immediate pass for the academic year and a six-month summer holiday.

The circumstance that led to this unprecedented turn of events, however, is one of great tragedy. With deaths increasing, and our country bracing itself for a tsunami of hospitalisations, the Coronavirus pandemic has brought the world to a halt.

Businesses are closing, children are being sent home from school, and loo rolls are vanishing before our very eyes. And now, only three weeks after the World Health Organisation declared Covid-19 a pandemic, the country wait eagerly for the Prime Minister’s daily updates, which have served not only as a source of information for those scared at home, but as a testament to Boris and the transformation he has undergone in many young people’s eyes since taking office.

It has become increasingly apparent to everyone watching that the man on our screens is no longer the bumbling, amusing Mayor who once found himself incapacitated on a zip-wire, but a strong, level-headed Prime Minister with tired eyes from sleepless nights and a clear plan of action to tackle this deadly virus.

Perhaps most significant, however, in this public re-evaluation of the Prime Minister, is the gradually changing attitudes of young people towards him. Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, Boris has stepped up to the plate – and young people are noticing. Take, for instance, Chris Hughes, the Love Island star and boyfriend of the Labour-loving, Little-Mix singer Jesy Nelson, who recently tweeted to his largely young audience, “Forget your political beliefs, Boris spoke well then. He’s pulling this country through the toughest of times and deserves respect.”. The tweet went viral, bringing in over 50,000 likes.

This Churchillian image projected by the Prime Minister, of someone who has taken it on himself to carry the weight of the country on their back, is what will change our party’s image amongst younger voters in the run up to the next election. Even in the eyes of my lefty friends, Boris has gone from “a tin-pot dictator” to an “alright guy”.

The Conservatives are now on 54% in the polls, higher than Mrs T during the Falklands War. Once this horrendous pandemic is over, our mission will be to try and stay there. Let the great rebalancing continue.

James Yucel is a writer and young Conservative activist who has written for The Glasgow Guardian, co-founded The ARC Project – a knife crime initiative – and was a campaign officer for Tom Hunt MP. Follow him on twitter: @JamesLYucel