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Greens to call for young voter ‘rebellion’

Greens Leader Adam Bandt will call for a youth “uprising” at the ballot box as he targets first-time voters, with early voting set to begin.

The party is promising to take tougher action on climate change, cancel student debt, expand Medicare to include dental costs, and cap rents.

“You’re going to be told by older generations that you’ve never had it so good, and that you’re all too sensitive. It’s bulls**t,” Mr Bandt will tell a Social Awareness Forum in Melbourne on Monday night.

“Young people are poorer and face a more dangerous future than at any time in nearly 100 years. That’s why we now have to fight for the future.”

From Monday, Australians have the chance to make an early vote ahead of the May 21 poll.

Mr Bandt will lay out the seats the Greens are targeting as they look for a stronger foothold in both chambers of federal parliament.

“Young people could determine the outcome of this election,” Mr Bandt will say.

In the party’s gunsights is the LNP-held Ryan electorate in Queensland, where incumbent Julian Simmonds holds the seat by six per cent but faces nearly 9000 first-time voters.

Mr Bandt believes those young voters could sway the result, turfing Mr Simmons and installing Greens candidate Elizabeth Watson-Brown.

He will say the election is a “make or break” moment for acting on climate change with analysis from scientists last week underlining the Greens’ policy to keep warming within the recommended 1.5C, as opposed to 2C under Labor and 3C under the coalition.

Polls have the Greens on track to garner about 11 per cent of the vote on May 21, with some predicting a share as high as 15 per cent.

The latest Newspoll two-party preferred had Labor at 53 per cent and the coalition at 47 per cent.

Support for Labor and the Greens is stronger in 18 to 34 year olds. The Liberal vote in that demographic hit a record low of 23 per cent in 2019 and rose to a record high for the Greens at 28 per cent.

Australian National University analysis published in April predicted a “youthquake” this year, with 18 to 24 year olds saying environmental issues were their primary concern when voting at the last election.

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