Professor James Tilley presents new BBC Radio 4 series exploring how age affects people’s political views

DPIR’S Professor of Politics James Tilley is set to front a new BBC Radio 4 series which examines the relationship between age and vote choice.

Across five episodes in The Kids are Alt Right?, James explores how ageing affects our political views, how people become attached to specific political parties when they are young and how the choices made by political parties play out among the young and the old.

Each episode casts the spotlight on a different aspect of the relationship between age and politics. The starting point is how age affects people’s preference for the radical right.

  • What’s Going On? – This episode explores the recent success of radical right parties and how their support base is often younger, rather than older, people.
  • Getting Older – This episode examines how the process of ageing affects our personality and our politics.
  • The Next Generation – This episode turns to the idea of political generations and how the formative experiences of our youth affect our politics through our lives.
  • The Marketplace of Politics – This episode focuses on how challenger parties offer new policies, and a new style of politics, to voters.
  • None of the Above – The series ends with a discussion of how the real party of the young is not the radical left or right, but ‘none of the above’.

Over the series, James argues that both ageing and generational effects are the key to understanding why mainstream parties do better with the old. Interestingly, this means, in some countries, that younger people are more likely to support the radical right as well as the radical left.

He said: “In some European countries, young voters are more likely to prefer radical right parties than are older voters. This can be surprising as there is a popular notion that as we age, we become increasingly right-wing. The relationship between age and how we vote is not that straightforward, however.”

The first episode - What’s Going On? - will be aired at 1.45pm on Monday 15th January and will also be available afterwards via BBC Sounds.