We have heard a lot about the youth vote in this election. Something like 20% of voters are aged 18-25. For many, this will be the first time they have voted. That’s a heck of a lot of votes up for grabs.
Imran Khan appears to have made the biggest inroads. His party is the most active on social media and the rallies of his I’ve attended have been notable for the huge numbers of students or the recently graduated. His message of change, of rejecting a corrupt political elite that has had plenty of opportunities to govern in the past, seems to be resonating with the young and optimistic.
So perhaps it is not surprising that this morning the Pakistan People’s Party has hit back with newspaper adverts pointing out that Imran Khan for all his energy is 60. Instead, it offers 24-year-old Bilawal Bhutto Zardari as the real hope for change, with the tagline:
Only young leadership can bring a revolution!
I’m not in favour of one party or another. But I’m not entirely sure this strategy will work for the PPP. In fact, it may well backfire. Not only is Bilawal so young that he cannot even stand in this election – plastering his image all over the papers reminds us that no-one knows where on earth he is.