Student voters to decide Nick Clegg’s future

Harry Yorke
News

Your vote could make or break him

• Clegg could lose his seat due to student backlash over tuition fees
• Student vote might control his Sheffield Hallam constituency
• Polls say students could swing whole election

Fed-up student voters could decide Nick Clegg’s fate in the 2015 election, a new study has revealed.

A recent study says deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg could lose his seat in the next election amid student outrage over tuition fees.

The report, compiled by the Higher Education Policy Institute, shows a drop in the Lib Dem student vote from 44 per cent in 2010 to 13 per cent in 2014.

Many students feel betrayed by the LibDems

The findings come on the back of student fury over Clegg’s broken promise to scrap tuition fees — instead the cost of uni has trebled from £3000 to £9000 a year.

And now today’s study argues Clegg’s failure to deliver on free education will haunt his party in 2015 as many students might not back the Lib Dems again.

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The report’s director, Nick Hillman said: “If the opinion polls are a guide to the next election, then students could just swing the overall result and hold the keys to power.”

Prof Stephen Fisher, who worked on the stats, added: “If anything, the student vote seems to have reacted more strongly to apparent breaches of promise.”

Oxford Prof Fisher said if the current upset grows, the Lib Dems could do “noticeably worse in constituencies with large numbers of student voters”.

This means Clegg’s re-election in his Sheffield Hallan constituency is on shaky ground.

And ten other marginal seats could be swayed by their large student populations — which hold a dozen Tory and Lib Dem MPs now. The great betrayal?

Birmingham student and Hallam voter, third-year Mikey said: “I can’t say with absolute certainty but I think I speak for the majority of students when I say feel betrayed by Nick Clegg.

“The decision to increase tuition fees was a complete breach of student trust, and I think the impact of that move is still resonating in student circles.

“I consider Clegg to be a liar and I think that the majority of students in Sheffield will vote with a similar mindset.

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