By Kate McIntosh
As yet another general election looms, at Palatinate Politics we’ve been polling Durham students to see what we make of it all. As it turns out, we’re a surprisingly engaged bunch. Only 3 per cent of those who responded said that they were not registered to vote, compared to 55 per cent of 18 to 25 year olds nationally.
Despite such low youth engagement across the country, in Durham half of students are interested in the upcoming election. About a quarter (26 per cent) said they were stressed, and a further 22 per cent said they are excited about the upcoming election.
Our EU poll found that 67 per cent of Durham students voted to remain – so will that be reflected in how Durham votes come June? A substantial minority, 44 per cent, said they’ll be voting Labour. But, with only 18 per cent registered to vote in Durham it seems unlikely that those voters will be bolstering Durham MP Robert Blackman-Wood’s current majority.
A further 22 per cent said they will vote Conservative, and 18 per cent claimed to be supporting the Liberal Democrats. Given the 17 per cent who told us they favoured Farron’s party all the way back in December 2016, a moderate resurgence may not be on the cards. At least not in Durham.
We’re largely unified by prediction of what parliament will look like come 9th June. An impressive 88 per cent of us believe a Conservative victory is just around the corner. Despite 44 per cent of the 387 people who responded (nearly 1 in 40 Durham students) pledging their allegiance to Labour, more people said they didn’t know who would win than predicted a labour majority. No wonder nearly half (47 per cent) told us they were pessimistic about the election outcome.
The slightly stronger Labour support amongst the 18-25 age group could well prop up the party’s vote, with leader Jeremy Corbyn particularly targeting the younger demographic. The deadline to register to vote in the upcoming election is 22nd May. You can register easily here.
Photograph: Paul Stainthorp via flickr.