Natalie Bennett’s Unpopularity Sees Green Support Plummet With Students

Natalie Bennett

Support for the Green Party among students has fallen dramatically since the start of the election campaign, a new poll suggests.

The survey of 1,000 full-time students by YouthSight found the Greens’ support on campuses across Britain has fallen from 28 per cent in February to just 15 per cent now, with the Conservatives overtaking them to take a comfortable second place. Labour remains the most popular party, with 35 per cent of students backing them.

The Liberal Democrats, who famously broke their election pledge to not raise university tuition fees, are on just nine percent, three ahead of UKIP who are on six.

One of the biggest reasons for the decline in the Greens’ support is the unpopularity of party leader Natalie Bennett, with the proportion of students claiming to dislike her doubling from 12 per cent to 24. Just seven per cent say they like her.

Labour leader Ed Miliband is the most liked, but only with 11 per cent (compared to 38 per cent who said they disliked him), while Prime Minister David Cameron is on 10 per cent, and Nigel Farage and Nick Clegg each have 5 per cent.

Natalie Bennett has faced questions over her leadership after a disastrous interview on LBC where she can disastrously unstuck when asked about the party’s policy on social housing. It was later described on social media as “the most painful political interview ever”.

Meanwhile, a separate survey of 13,000 students found that the Conservatives and Labour were tied as the most popular parties among students at Britain’s 30 top universities. Oxford was a hotbed of socialism, having among the highest concentration of Labour supporters, while The London School of Economics, founded by Fabian socialists, was largely Conservative.

The survey by High Fliers Research found that the Tories topped the poll in 14 of the universities, with Labour ahead in 11 and the Greens and SNP in two each.