Last year I wrote about the polling of students undertaken by YouthSight, which had tracked a strong surge in support for the Green Party. However, the latest round of this polling has placed the Greens a distant third place.
Labour remain the party of choice for students 35%, the Conservatives are on 25% – both up 2 points since February. The Greens are now on 15% – a dramatic 13% point drop since the last poll was conducted. The increase in Labour’s share is their first since September last year. The Liberal Democrats, SNP and UKIP all make gains but stay in fourth, fifth and sixth position respectively.
YouthSight also measure student attitudes towards the party leaders finding the overall trend that students generally dislike politicians more than they like them. Since YouthSight’s records began, Nigel Farage has been the most strongly disliked leader, and Natalie Bennett the least disliked. However, the level of dislike towards Bennett has increased over the last 6 months, as she has gained more exposure. Attitudes towards the Green Party leader may go some way to explaining their recent decline in the polls.
Looking at the proportions who claim to like each leader, this has increased slightly across the board since the start of election season, with Miliband the biggest winner having jumped 4 points since February. Levels of dislike have also decreased for Miliband, Clegg and Cameron.
Some good news for turnout has been measured by the poll – students’ likelihood to vote is increasing, rising from 66% in February to 69% now. YouthSight estimate the student turnout to be 71% at the last general election compared to just 44% for the overall population aged 18-24.