The Liberal Democrats are now the fourth party amongst students according to poll of 1,200 people in higher education. The poll for the for Youthsight shows that support amongst students for the Liberal Democrats has crashed from 50 percent before the 2010 election, to just 6 percent today.
The Liberal Democrats are now behind Labour (43 percent), the Conservatives (24 percent) and the Greens (14 percent). They are also only one point ahead of UKIP, well within the three percent margin of error.
Whilst the student vote is not generally considered a deciding factor in UK general elections the Liberal Democrats are reliant on them in a number of key seats. They currently hold seats in Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Manchester, Cambridge and Norwich, all of which have significant student populations.
The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, himself holds the seat of Sheffield Hallam on the outskirts of a City with two major Universities, one of which is also called Sheffield Hallam.
The Liberal Democrats had picked up a great deal of support before the 2010 election because of their cast iron pledge not to increase Tuition Fees. A pledge they dumped almost immediately after the election.
The research concludes, “Traditionally the Liberal Democrats have polled better with students than with the general public, even following their collapse in popularity after the 2010 election. This trend has now reversed, with recent polls placing Lib Dem support at 10% amongst the wider population (4 percentage points higher than students).”
The results of the poll are even more bad news for the Liberal Democrats, following their overall poll fall from 23 percent in the General Election to 10 percent today. It also comes shortly after Nick Clegg’s defeat by Nigel Farage at the two European Leaders’ debates.
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