Students of Southampton on GE17


Wessex Scene has been around campus finding out what students’ thoughts about the General Election are.

Credit: Nuala McBride
FLORA, VP Student Communities and Union President-Elect

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.



Credit: Nuala McBride

SOPHIE, Education and Psychology

Are you aware of the election?
Yes, absolutely.
How do you think the GE will affect your degree?
I am in third year now; so it won’t affect me massively. But, for future generations coming to university, it could affect how much they have to pay for their course and how much support they get.
What about your future job?
I’m thinking of going into teaching and obviously, education is a massive policy area, especially within this general election. I’m definitely swaying towards labour, just because they’ve always had education within their prospects.
Will you be voting?
Yes, I am registered to vote.
What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen in the run-up to the election?
“Strong and Stable” thing – by far the funniest thing I have seen so far.
Have you had any strong disagreements with anyone in relation to the GE?
I’m really not a fan of Conservatives, but I don’t think many students are. I don’t think the Conservatives are in it for everyone. I don’t think they’re in it to support everyone, I think they’re in it to support the rich few at the top.
What would Theresa May have for breakfast?
I think she’d go for something quite bland –  plain porridge maybe with a sprinkle of sugar on top.
What will you be doing on June 8th?
Making sure I get down to my local polling station and voting!
Credit: Nuala McBride
MICHAEL, Business Management
Were you surprised about the GE?
I was quite surprised, given we’ve had another one so recently.
Are you going to vote?
No, I don’t find any party appealing, to be honest.
Do you think the results will affect you in any way?
Not me personally, to be honest, I haven’t taken much interest in it. But, I do quite like Jeremy Corbyn – man of the people sort of thing.
Who do you think would win in punch-up between May, Farron and Corbyn?
Farron, because I don’t know who he is.
Did you know a Southampton student is running?
No, but I’m quite surprised!
What will you be doing on election day?
Probably working.
Credit: Nuala McBride
GEORGE (left) AND VIKRAM (right), PPE

Are you aware of the General Election?

Yeah we’re on the right course to be well informed.

Will you vote?

V: I will be voting Labour.

G: I will spoil my ballot because I don’t agree with anyone enough to justify voting for them.

Were you surprised about the snap election happening?

V: Yes, considering Theresa May’s remarks that there wouldn’t be a General Election until 2020. I am against it although I think she needed to have a General Election before 2020 to make sure her position wasn’t questioned as she wasn’t elected. 

What would Jeremy Corbyn order from The Bridge?

V: Something vegetarian because he went to the British Kebab Awards and told everyone to become vegetarian. That was brilliant.

Have you had any disagreements about the election?

V: Yeah I’ve had a few although I try to step back if they get a little too heated, but they’re usually more interesting conversations. We started talking about what policies we’d rather have, although I don’t agree entirely with Labour’s policies right now. Well maybe like 70% of them.

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Deputy Editor 2016 -2017. I'm a Geography student here at Southampton. Also, an avid adventurer; who is always up for discovering somewhere whether it's new or old.

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