Researching the student vote

Dr Stephen Fisher, Fellow and Tutor in Political Sociology has co-authored research suggesting that the student vote could tip the balance of power at the next general election.

Based on new analysis by Dr Fisher, the research, Do students swing elections? Registration, turnout and voting behaviour among full-time students, confirms that the student vote responds to political parties’ policies on tuition fees. The student vote swung towards the Liberal Democrats in 2001, 2005 and 2010 and is set to swing towards Labour at the 2015 election. This could affect the result in around ten seats.

Students could tip the balance of power in 2015 because of the close opinion polls, a fall in student support for the Liberal Democrats and UKIP’s relative lack of success among students. Since the last election, the student vote has moved towards the Greens as well as Labour. The chances of the Green Party retaining its one seat or even managing to win a second seat, seems likely to depend upon how students vote.

Posted: 1 December 2014

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