The student vote swung towards the Liberal Democrats in 2001, 2005 and 2010 and is set to swing towards Labour at the 2015 election, which could affect the result in around 10 seats, says the report which is published and co-authored by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI).
The report is based on a statistical analysis of publicly available data, mostly from the British Election Study, and qualitative interviews with university and local authority personnel on registration processes.
It concludes that the student vote could be pivotal to the success of political parties in the next election. This is because of the close opinion polls, a fall in student support for the Liberal Democrats and UKIP’s relative lack of success among students. The report adds that since the last election, the student vote has moved towards the Greens as well as Labour and the chances of the Green Party retaining their one seat or even managing to win a second seat seems likely to depend upon how students vote.