Wessex Scene has been around campus finding out what students’ thoughts about the General Election are.
Were you surprised about the election?
Somewhat, yeah. I think we were all expecting May to do something fairly soon, but not quite that rapid. I’m not that shocked.
Do you follow politics?
Yeah, I think part of my job means that I need to. Politics is so important now, especially for students, with all the changes going on in higher education, and more awareness of mental health. It’s really important to stay on top of current affairs and also just for personal interest. I’ve got to live my life for the next 60 years, so I’m hoping I can shape that into something that’ll be good.
Do you think it will affect universities?
Absolutely, I think the tuition fee argument is something that’s going to come up again and again. I think Labour’s policy on scrapping them is a bit interesting, but that’s going to be a really attractive policy for students. I also think the current government are doing a lot to change higher education, but it’s changing anyway, so it’ll be really interesting to see whatever party takes power. They’re realistically going to have a solid 5 years to mould higher education into something that they want it to be and I’m really interested to see how that goes.
Do you think there’s a lot of awareness around campus to convince people to vote?
There seems to be. I’ve done a lot of talking to students and trying to encourage them to register because it is so important, and a lot of students do seem to be registered. I think there’s a lot more input now from students because we have a student running for a Southampton MP position for the Lib Dems. I also think it’s because students are realising that national politics can really affect the cost and quality of their education, the quality of their housing. We are a generation that are on the verge of being able to change things for the better and that’s quite exciting.
Do you have any advice for people who are unsure of who to vote for?
Do your research. Read as much as you can. Read as many different bits of journalism from as many different newspapers as possible, try and understand the biases, try and understand the arguments, but also just talk to people and really have a think about what you value. There’s a really good website: Who do I side with?. It’s a really good questionnaire, it’s really detailed, you can think about your opinions on loads of different areas of policy like domestic policy, foreign policy, immigration, education, all of these things and then you can work out who you might side with. It’s really good, I’d really recommend it. Whatever happens just vote. Use your vote, use your voice and have your voice heard.
Who would win in a punch up out of the party leaders?
I don’t think Corbyn would stand a chance. I think it’s between Tim Farron and Theresa May.