Big student vote coming in election, survey suggests

Students are planning to vote in huge numbers in the general election, according to a survey, despite many lacking faith that doing so will help improve their lives.

April 10, 2015

A survey conducted by Unite Students, the student accommodation provider, found that 85 per cent of British students plan to cast votes in May’s general election, a proportion that rises to 91 per cent in Scotland. The company conducted interviews with 1,000 students.

Richard Smith, managing director of operations at Unite Students, said: “These findings will surprise many, especially the high levels of engagement in the political process. Students are clearly interested in shaping their own prospects.”

The study suggests that students as a demographic are more determined to engage in politics than other groups. The student poll compares favourably to overall turnout for the 2010 general election, which was only 65 per cent of the eligible population.

However, two-thirds of those polled thought that they would be worse off after the election.

According to the Unite Students poll, David Cameron is ahead of Ed Miliband on popularity among students in both England and Scotland, with 36 per cent saying the former would make the best prime minister against 30 per cent for the latter. However, Nicola Sturgeon has steamed ahead of them both in Scotland, commanding the support of 40 per cent.

The most important electoral issue for students was the future of the NHS.

The survey also suggested that the economy and tuition fees were major issues among student voters. It found that those studying non-vocational subjects were significantly more likely to be concerned about fees than those pursuing vocational courses.

The fields of study with the highest numbers of those planning to vote, at 95 per cent of those polled, were medicine and dentistry.

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