Student poll: campus vote swings from yellow to Green

Survey assesses the voting intentions of 13,000 students

April 20, 2015

The Green Party has seen a surge in support among university students at the expense of the Liberal Democrats, according to a new poll of 13,000 undergraduates.

More than half of students surveyed said that they would not vote for the Liberal Democrats in the upcoming general election because the party increased tuition fees while in power.

Labour and the Conservatives have identical levels of support on campus, says the study by High Fliers Research.

The results come from face-to-face interviews with more than 13,000 final-year undergraduates at 30 universities conducted just before Easter, and are published in the report Student Politics 2015.

The report finds that 31 per cent of finalists intended to vote for Labour and 31 per cent for the Conservatives. A quarter said they will vote for the Green Party, 6 per cent for the Liberal Democrats and 3 per cent for the Scottish National Party.

One per cent of students intended to vote for the UK Independence Party. Almost a sixth of the 13,000 participants said that they had not yet made up their mind who to vote for or were not planning on casting a vote.

The share of the student vote going to the Liberal Democrats is down from the 23 per cent reported in a similar survey completed ahead of the 2010 general election, while student support for the Green Party is up from 6 per cent, according to the report.

The Conservatives are the most popular party at 14 of the universities in the study, including Imperial College London, the London School of Economics and the universities of Bath and Exeter, as well as Loughborough and Durham universities.

Labour is the top choice party at 11 institutions, including the universities of Liverpool, Oxford, Warwick, Manchester and Sheffield, and Lancaster University.

The Green Party, meanwhile, takes the lead at two, the universities of Leeds and Edinburgh, and the Scottish National Party at a further two, the universities of Strathclyde and Glasgow.

The majority of those surveyed said that the next government should focus on reducing the deficit as its main priority.

Over half said that Labour would be the best party to manage public services including the NHS, and two-fifths believed the Conservatives could manage the economy successfully.

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