Lib Dems hold pole position

Online survey asks about education policies and fee levels. John Morgan reports

May 5, 2010

The Liberal Democrats’ lead among voters in the academy appears to be narrowing as election day approaches, a Times Higher Education survey suggests.

In the third and final online poll of THE readers during the election campaign, 50 per cent of respondents said they planned to vote Lib Dem, putting Nick Clegg’s party ahead of Labour on 25 per cent and the Conservatives on 17 per cent.

The previous poll closed on 22 April, at which stage 62 per cent of respondents said they planned to vote Lib Dem, 20 per cent Labour and 12 per cent Conservative.

The Lib Dems’ most prominent higher education policy is the phasing out of tuition fees. Labour and the Conservatives said they would wait until the report of the Independent Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance before making clear their stance on the issue.

In our most recent poll, the Lib Dems won strong backing when respondents were asked which party had the best higher education policies, coming top with 59 per cent.

Labour and the Conservatives both took 18 per cent of the vote on this question.

Asked about the outcome of the Browne review, 53 per cent said they wanted fees to be scrapped, 18 per cent wanted no change to the fee level, 11 per cent wanted a £5,000 cap, 3 per cent wanted a £7,000 cap and 18 per cent wanted an unregulated market in fees.

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