- Labour Party and Business: A Difficult Relationship?
- Chameleon Conservative Cameron Shows True Colours
- An Election Reflection for a Majority Minority
- Mhairi Black: Giving Politics a Makeover
- Galloway Threatens Legal Action Over Election Result
- Voter Turnout: What The Numbers Tell Us About The 2015 General Election
- Looking At The Reaction to the Election Explains its Result
- The Polls Were Wrong Because People Lied, it’s That Simple!
- Russell Brand “Resigns” from Politics following General Election Result
- It’s Not The Cold War Anymore, We Don’t Need a Nuclear Deterrent
- The Future of Labour: Who Will Be The Next Leader?
- The Future of the Liberal Democrats: Who Will Be the Next Leader?
- The Future of UKIP: Who Will Be the Next Leader?
- A Tale of Three Ends
- The Tory Legacy
- If the Party Leaders were characters from Friends…who would you vote for?
- The Ten (Well, Six) Commitments: Is Stone Legally Binding?
- Tuition Fees: A Hollow Attempt to Pander to the Student Vote?
- 6,417 Ed Milligrams – What Do You Actually Vote For?
- Boris Johnson to become Gangster Rapper
- Political Engagement: The Calm After the Storm
- Parliamentary Candidate Interview: Green Party’s John Spottiswoode.
- Parliamentary Candidate Interviews: TUSC’s Sue Atkins
- Parliamentary Candidate Interview, Independent Candidate Chris Daviss
- “I don’t think the Liberal Democrats should be in government just for the sake of it” – An Interview With Nick Clegg
- Parliamentary Candidate Interview, TUSC’s Nick Chaffey
- Parliamentary Candidate Interview: Conservative’s Jeremy Moulton.
- Should Young People Be Made To Vote?
- The Nationalist Parties
- No Votes for Women?
- None of the Political Candidates Ticking Your Box? There is Another Option.
- The Other Parties
- Liberal Democrats Party Profile
- The Green Party
- Labour Party Profile
- In Defence of the Coalition
- Why Labour Should Win the Election But Won’t
- The Protest Vote: The Weapon of the Disenfranchised.
- Why Young People Must Use Their Vote
- An Interview With Natalie Bennett
- What Will a Multi-Party System Mean for Britain?
- Tuition Fees: Must Try Harder Ed
- Science and Policy
- This Election is Far Bigger Than Party Politics
- Parliamentary Candidate Interviews: Ian Callaghan, Green Party
- Parliamentary Candidate Interviews: Lib Dem’s Adrian Ford
- Paliamentary Candidate Interview – Labour’s Darren Paffey
- Parliamentary Candidates Interviews: Lib Dem’s Eleanor Bell
- TV Debates: The Crucifixion of David Cameron
- Parliamentary Candidate Interview – Labour’s Rowenna Davis
- Parliamentary Candidate Interview, the Green Party’s Angela Mawle
- Can We Trust Politicians Who Act Like Schoolchildren?
- Parliamentary Candidate Interview – UKIP’s Sandra James
- Manifesto Focus: Labour
- Why Nuclear Weapons Are Imperative For The UK’s Security
- Southampton’s Role in the General Election Should Not Be Overshadowed by a Sausage Roll
- Just When You Thought UKIP Couldn’t Do Anything Right…
- What the Hell Do You Want?
- Which Political Leader Are You?
- The EU: To Be or Not To Be
- Your 2015 General Election Candidates
- What a Silly Sausage: Southampton UKIP Candidate Accused of Bribery
- UKIP Party Profile
- Conservative Party Profile
- The Leaders Debate: The Insurgents, The Pretender & The Incumbent
- SUPA’s Short and Sweet Guide to Voting on 7th May
- TV Debate: Clash of the Titans
- Leaders Debate Brings Hope For Progressive Politics
- TV Debates: David Cameron and Ed Miliband Versus Britain
- 14,000 Voters Missing From Electoral Role in Southampton – Register to Vote Now!
- Men’s Rights Party Set To Contest in General Elections
- A Royal Coup? – Queen Guitarist Brian May Considering Standing for Election
- Debating Over Debates
- Galloway Demands Inclusion in TV Debates
- The General Election 2015 – A Disunited Kingdom?
- 99 Days To Go: The Most Unpredictable Election Yet!
- Poll Indicates Demand for Green Party to be Included in Election Debates
- Have You Registered To Vote?
- Is Sol Campbell running for Parliament?
- Salmond to Stand as MP
- Students May Hold the Key!
- The Green Party Should Not Be Included in the 2015 General Election Debates
- Parliamentary Candidate Interview: Alan Whitehead MP
- What’s at Stake for Students in the General Election?
- It’s Time For Politicians To Get Down With The Kids
- The Debates Debate
- Who Will Run The Country in 2015?
- New Year, New Government? New Politics?
- Newly Elected Itchen MP Accused of Helping UKIP Secure Labour Votes
Students may hold the key to determining the outcome of next year’s General Election. This was the assertion made recently by the President of the National Union of Students (NUS), Toni Pearce. And there is good reason to suggest that this may not be an outlandish statement at all.
We need only to look to the recent independence referendum in Scotland, where almost 9 out of 10 people declared themselves certain to vote, to challenge lazy stereotypes about voter apathy.Toni PearceNUS President
Few people doubt that the 2015 General Election will be one of the most closely-fought elections in a generation. Every vote will count, and the politicians know it. In 197 seats across the UK, MPs were elected in 2010 with a majority of 10% or less. A swing of more than 5% would result in a change of which party holds power in these constituencies.
Interestingly, official data reveals that more students are living in these constituencies than the swing needed for change. Right on our doorstep, in John Denham’s constituency, Southampton Itchen, just 192 votes are required for the Conservative candidate to take the seat from Labour, making it fourth on their target list.
Student votes could hold the key to entire political careersToni PearceNUS President
Less than half of young people turned out to cast their vote in 2010, turnout for 18-24 year olds was only 44%. Since then, circumstances have clearly changed. Many students were left utterly aghast at Nick Clegg’s broken promise not to raise tuition fees under any circumstances, and we all know what happened there. This, combined with the 2009 expenses scandal, amongst other things, makes Pearce seem justified in her view that it is unsurprising that 77% of young people do not believe politicians can be trusted.
Yet to think tuition fees is the only concern of young people today would be to miss the point. High unemployment levels, unpaid internships, and a huge national deficit are some of the issues with which our generation is forced to contend. Leaving University with the thought of not necessarily being able to get a full-time job is surely an alarming prospect.
Pearce believes that students’ concerns can be taken seriously, but only if students are willing to turn out on polling day to vote. Some critics suggest that the reason politicians do not bother to engage with young people is because we are apathetic and uninterested in democracy. This is quite the opposite from reality, many students feel let down.
At a General Meeting on Monday 27th October, SUSU, which is not affiliated to the NUS, voted to spend up to £20,000 on ‘political expenditure’, to make sure that students’ voices are heard in the General Election.
With the election now less than six months away, it would not be unreasonable to say that students could actually be the group causing a political “earthquake”.