University of Brighton students tell Overtime they will vote Labour in the general election

By Harrison Kirby

University of Brighton students will turn up in huge numbers to vote Labour on 12 December, according to an exclusive poll by Overtime.

A face-to-face survey of 120 students across four campuses showed that 80 per cent were planning on voting in the election, with 39 per cent backing Jeremy Corbyn.

We revealed the news in the autumn edition of the Overtime magazine, available at student union outlets on University of Brighton campuses.

Poll: Harrison Kirby, Katrin Johannessen, Sam Victory and Rath Ganeshalingam

This follows Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to call a general election amidst the Brexit deadlock. Less than 15 per cent plan to vote Conservative.

The topic of Brexit, which has been at the forefront of discussion amongst the British people since the decision to leave the EU was made on 23 June 2016, appears to be something that the students of the University of Brighton are fed up with.

If there was to be a second referendum, 74% of students said that they would rather vote Remain. The Liberal Democrats have said that part of their manifesto will include a second referendum, despite some Liberal Democrat MPs, including Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd, saying that the result of the referendum “must be respected”.

More election news on Overtime:

Corbyn “most popular with millennials”

A larger percentage of Brighton students were more interested in the left wing, with parties such as the Greens and Labour ranking high amongst students (16% and 39% of the vote respectively).

This follows a recent YouGov survey showing that Jeremy Corbyn was one of the most popular politicians amongst millennials.

Johnson, on the other hand, ranked poorly amongst University of Brighton students, with one student being quoted as saying “f*** Boris” on the additional comments of their survey.

However, amongst core Conservative voters, many seemed unfazed by Boris Johnson’s style.

Luke, 18, said: “I’ll vote Conservative because that’s what my mum always votes for.”

There was also a fair percentage of “floating voters” who were unsure of who to vote for.

Despite 78% of students being able to vote, 16% said that they were unsure of who to vote for.

A general confusion about the purpose of this general election and why it was so early existed amongst University of Brighton students. With the general news cycle focusing purely on Brexit, it prevents many other important issues from getting to the general public.

One student wrote that Brexit does not belong in this election, and we should instead be focussing on issues such as the NHS.

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Brexit “flextension”

The Brexit deadline, which was originally going to be on the 31 October has been given a “flextension” by Donald Tusk to 31 January, although this new agreement means that the UK can leave on the first of any month, if a deal is struck.

This agreement comes despite Boris Johnson’s claims that he would “rather be seen dead in a ditch” than extend Brexit beyond the Halloween deadline.

The Brexit Party, a hard Brexit-focused party led by Leave.eu key player Nigel Farage, also saw a 2% vote in the University of Brighton student survey.

The party, which recently revealed that 20 candidates had quit, is strongly opposed to Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, with Nigel Farage telling the Telegraph that it “risks putting Corbyn in power”.

On the other hand, the Green Party has pledged £100 billion a year for climate action.

Following recent Extinction Rebellion protests, it appeared that young people are becoming more and more interested in global warming and the planet’s safety.

A spike in interest in climate change could make it one of the most important issues in this general election.

Furthermore, a YouGov survey also showed that a huge 45% of 18-24 year old voters put this issue as the second most important after Brexit.

This could be the first British election where the issue of climate change will rank as highly as issues such as the NHS, crime and housing.

The polls from these students not only show that young people will be attending this election in droves, but also indicates what these young people are looking for in their government.

The polls, overwhelmingly, show that these students are wanting Labour in power and, given the chance, would vote to remain in the European Union.

As young people reach the age to vote, when they would not have been able to during 2016 and 2017, a change could be enormous, and (seriously and severely) shake the system right to its core.

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