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Published on February 17th, 2015 | by Alex Walker
Image © Max Nash/PA 2010

Max Nash/PA 2010

Is it the students who have the political power?

Middlesbrough Politics: What do students think of the Government?

By Alex Walker

Less than 100 days remain before the 2015 general election.

On January 28th 2015 new figures were released from YouGov showing that Labour had taken a one point lead over the Conservatives while the Liberal Democrats began to trail behind.The big three parties are now on the warpath to take the majority of seats in parliament and form a new government which will lead us  into 2020.

With over two million students currently studying in the UK and over 1.5 million of them eligible to vote they have now become a prime audience to target.

However only 50% of people 18 – 24 voted in the 2010 election.

The 2010 general election gave us  a coalition government between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats but if the attention of the young voters were stirred we could have seen another single party majority government in power.

I’ve spoken with Students from Teesside University to see what they think of the coalition government after its dip in the polls.

“It’s a bit too divided and pays too much attention to the interests of the South,” said one psychology student.

Richard Brown, a 25 year old Health and Nursing student said: “I’m not a fan of the Conservatives but they’re doing a better job than Labour did.”

Enya, a performance student told me: “I don’t know much about politics but I’m not a big fan of him [David Cameron] based on what I’ve heard.”

It seems that attitudes to the coalition are mixed in Teesside University, or at least towards the Conservatives.

Some students have also said: “I no longer buy into this party system.”

Are some of the students being turned off from the British political structure all together then?

A large theme here though is that lot of students here refuse to forgive Nick Clegg for the rise in tuition fees which allowed Universities to charge up to £9K per year which may see the Liberal Democrats being overshadowed by the Greens and UKIP in the upcoming election if students decide to vote.

Will the Teesside students keep things the way they are by helping David Cameron get re-elected though? Or will their disdain towards the Liberal Democrats hinder Liberal Democrat-hopeful Richard Kilpatrick in his efforts to become the next MP of Middlesbrough?

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