Young Brits just showed the world why showing up to vote matters.

While Americans sat enthralled in front of their TV screens on June 8, watching James Comey testify in front of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee, shocking general election results began trickling in from across the pond.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May. Photo by Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images.


About two months ago, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May called for a general election this summer in hopes of expanding the majority held by her Conservative Party (the Tories) in Parliament. Most Brits thought she'd succeed.

But as ballots were being counted last night, her hopes faded — and fast.

While there was no decisive winner walking away from the contest — May's party only won a plurality — the Tories lost a handful of seats and its majority in Parliament, bucking most election predictions in a dramatic fashion. The Tories' losses mean there is no majority party at the moment, resulting in a messy hung Parliament. May might not be prime minister much longer.

So ... what happened, exactly?

Young. People. Voted.

Official election tallies are still being counted, with many reports relying on surveys and exit polling to read into the behaviors of U.K. voters. But early data is pointing toward at least one significant factor: determined young people.

Early estimates suggest roughly 72% of young people aged 18-24 voted, according to NBC News. This marks a sizable uptick since the "Brexit" vote last summer and a massive increase from the 2015 elections, when just 43% of that demographic turned out.

To May's dismay, the vast majority of young people voted for her chief political opponent, left-leaning Jeremy Corbyn.

Corbyn — the leader of the Labour Party, who wanted the U.K. to remain in the European Union — sold voters on the promises of raising taxes on the wealthy, avoiding military interventions in foreign countries, and restoring "politics for the people."

Jeremy Corbyn, the new favorite to be the next prime minister. Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images.

"My friends were physically cheering in the streets," Craig McDonald, a 25-year-old who voted in favor of the Labour Party, told Bloomberg. "I was loving it."

Depending on how the hung Parliament shakes out, Corbyn could be the country's next prime minister.

There are many differences between elections in the U.K. and the U.S., but certain similarities between the electorates and political climates in both countries could be a cause of concern for President Donald Trump and the GOP.

Photo by Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images.

Some are dubbing the U.K.'s election results the "revenge of the youth." And certain signs are painting a similar picture state-side ahead of the midterm elections next fall.

Trump's approval rating is historically poor (no matter which way you slice it), but it's even more dismal among younger Americans. People across many demographics are unhappy with the president's agenda, but young people (and women) have taken on particularly important roles in the resistance.

In a special House election in Georgia, Democrat Jon Ossoff is polling surprisingly well in a historically red district over Republican Karen Handel with just two weeks to go before voters hit the ballot box. Ossoff's chances of winning — bolstered by enthusiasm among young people — is being closely watched from Washington as a test of the anti-Trump movement in battleground (and even deep red) regions of the country.

Will young Americans make the difference in the 2018 midterms?

Jon Ossoff with his supporters in Georgia. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

The U.K. and U.S. are different countries, of course, with various factors playing important roles in shaping voters' opinions of who should represent them in office.

But if young people's thirst for change in the U.K. reflects the attitudes and determination of young Americans in 2018, next year may shape up to be quite the headache for the man in the White House right now.

Photo courtesy of Justin Sather
True

Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

While most 10-year-olds are playing Minecraft, riding bikes, or watching YouTube videos, Justin Sather is intent on saving the planet. And it all started with a frog blanket when he was a baby.

"He carried it everywhere," Justin's mom tells us. "He had frog everything, even a frog-themed birthday party."

In kindergarten, Justin learned that frogs are an indicator species – animals, plants, or microorganisms used to monitor drastic changes in our environment. With nearly one-third of frog species on the verge of extinction due to pollution, pesticides, contaminated water, and habitat destruction, Justin realized that his little amphibian friends had something important to say.

"The frogs are telling us the planet needs our help," says Justin.

While it was his love of frogs that led him to understand how important the species are to our ecosystem, it wasn't until he read the children's book What Do You Do With An Idea by Kobi Yamada that Justin-the-activist was born.

Inspired by the book and with his mother's help, he set out on a mission to raise funds for frog habitats by selling toy frogs in his Los Angeles neighborhood. But it was his frog art which incorporated scientific facts that caught people's attention. Justin's message spread from neighbor to neighbor and through social media; so much so that he was able to raise $2,000 for the non-profit Save The Frogs.

And while many kids might have their 8th birthday party at a laser tag center or a waterslide park, Justin invited his friends to the Ballona wetlands ecological preserve to pick invasive weeds and discuss the harms of plastic pollution.

Justin's determination to save the frogs and help the planet got a massive boost when he met legendary conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall.

Photo courtesy of Justin Sather

At one of her Roots and Shoots youth initiative events, Dr. Goodall was so impressed with Justin's enthusiasm for helping frogs, she challenged the young activist to take it one step further and focus on plastic pollution as well. Justin accepted her challenge and soon after was featured in an issue of Bravery Magazine dedicated to Jane Goodall.

Keep Reading Show less
True


Often, parents of children with special needs struggle to find Halloween costumes that will accommodate medical equipment or provide a proper fit. And figuring out how to make one? Yikes.

There's good news; shopDisney has added new ensembles to their already impressive line of adaptive play costumes. And from 8/30 - 9/26, there's a 20% off sale for all costume and costume accessory orders of $75+ with code Spooky.

When looking for the right costume, kids with unique needs have a lot of extra factors to consider: wheelchair wheels get tangled up in too-long material, feeding tubes could get twisted the wrong way, and children with sensory processing disorders struggle with the wrong kind of fabric, seams, or tags. There are a lot of different obstacles that can come between a kid and the ability to wear the costume of their choice, which is why it's so awesome that more and more companies are recognizing the need for inclusive creations that make it easy for everyone to enjoy the magic of make-believe.

Created with inclusivity in mind, the adaptive line is designed to discreetly accommodate tubes or wires from the front or the back, with lots of stretch, extra length and roomier cut, and self-stick fabric closures to make getting dressed hassle-free. The online shop provides details on sizing and breaks down the magical elements of each outfit and accessory, taking the guesswork out of selecting the perfect costume for the whole family.

Your child will be able to defeat Emperor Zurg in comfort with the Buzz Lightyear costume featuring a discreet flap opening at the front for easy tube access, with self-stick fabric closure. There is also an opening at the rear for wheelchair-friendly wear, and longer-length inseams to accommodate seated guests. To infinity and beyond!

An added bonus: many of the costumes offer a coordinating wheelchair cover set to add a major boost of fun. Kids can give their ride a total makeover—all covers are made to fit standard size chairs with 24" wheels—to transform it into anything from The Mandalorian's Razor Crest ship to Cinderella's Coach. Some options even come equipped with sounds and lights!

From babies to adults and adaptive to the group, shopDisney's expansive variety of Halloween costumes and accessories are inclusive of all.

Don't forget about your furry companions! Everyone loves to see a costumed pet trotting around, regardless of the occasion. You can literally dress your four-legged friend to look like Sven from Frozen, which might not sound like something you need in your life but...you totally do. CUTENESS OVERLOAD.

This year has been tough for everyone, so when a child gets that look of unfettered joy that comes from finally getting to wear the costume of their dreams, it's extra rewarding. Don't wait until the last minute to start looking for the right ensemble!


*Upworthy may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through affiliate links on our site.