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Monday, 20 June 2016

Could students swing the vote? 70% say they’ll vote REMAIN

“It’s our future”: Engagement peaks as majority want a voice on Thursday
  • 70% in student poll want the UK to stay in the European Union
  • 60% think leaving will hurt them financially
  • Propaganda, racism and older voters listed as reasons for concern
  • 1.83 million UK students (Source: HESA, 2015)
Political engagement is peaking among students, with Brexit fears likely to propel the majority to the polls on June 23rd.

A survey by savethestudent.org reveals 94% have registered to vote, with almost three-quarters saying they’ve already made up their mind to vote ‘remain’. 17% would prefer to leave, with the remainder still undecided or not voting.

More than half (61%) of those surveyed think they’ll be financially worse off if we leave, with comments explaining:

“Students of our generation already have enough set against us, we don't need racist irrational members of the older generation voting out on a whim which will ultimately make little difference to their lives, but could seriously damage our own.”

“As a student the EU will give me more financial aid on my year abroad (Erasmus funding) than our government has for my years studying in Britain.”
“The EU offers us so much in terms of low-cost trade, funding for students and job opportunities; why should we leave that?”
Despite what could be a potentially massive student turnout next week, just 10% think the campaigns have been clear and fair:

“I think it’s ridiculous that both sides can get away with confusing the public so much and not giving clear, truthful, honest and fair answers to something which will heavily effect everyone.”

The lack of clarity may explain why so many students don’t feel positive about the outcome – 88% said they were concerned by the outcome either way.

Owen Burek, Save the Student’s Chief Editor, says:

“Students are clearly very worried about the Referendum, and with good reason. They’ve been saddled with substantial debts for degrees, with the promise of better jobs in a strong economy. Uncertainty, particularly around leaving the EU, has compounded anxiety along with the fear-mongering and confusing talk from politicians.

We’ve always encouraged students to speak up and be counted at political crossroads. It’s your future that’s being decided. If you’ve registered, you’ve already done the complicated bit. Now make sure your voice gets heard – vote on June 23rd!”

Most students do see this as a chance to protect their future, and not just for themselves: “a united Europe is something worth fighting for,” one student writes.

Survey results

  • Survey polled 1,828 students via savethestudent.org (15-19 June 2016)
  • Registered to vote: 94% (Not registered: 3% | Not eligible: 3%)
  • Will vote to stay: 71% (Leave: 17% | Undecided: 8%| Not voting: 4%)
  • Concerned about the outcome: 88% (Not concerned: 12%)
  • Campaign information from either party clear and fair: 10% (Not clear and fair: 90%)
  • Financially worse off if we leave EU: 61% (Better off: 12% | Not sure: 27%)

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