JEREMY Clarkson for Prime Minister?
If students in Huddersfield are to be believed, he could do a better job of running the country than Gordon Brown or David Cameron.
Research from student accommodation provider UNITE, which runs hostels in Huddersfield, has revealed that half of the student population in Huddersfield are not planning to vote in this year’s General Election, whenever it is.
That could mean thousands of missing votes for the local candidates in constituencies like Huddersfield and Colne Valley.
It is worrying because, for many of the students, this year’s election would be their first chance to select an MP.
But the apathy finding was followed by the shock revelation that 75% of the surveyed students were unable to identify any differences between the main parties.
Other statistics revealed that 74% of students said they would vote if all the parties pledged to drop tuition fees.
But 25% of the student population said that they thought Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson would do a better job running the country.
Simon Jones, regional Operations Director of UNITE, said: “We are home to hundreds of students in Huddersfield and believe it’s important for our residents to feel they can influence issues that matter most to them.”
So what do students in Huddersfield think? We called in at the Queensgate campus for a straw poll.
Julia Moore, 21, a podiatry student, said “I don’t intend to vote because I don’t understand enough about each party to make a decision.”
Helena Meally, 21, a podiatry student, said: “If the campaigns were geared towards students I’d probably vote, but it’s like we’re overlooked. There is nothing which we benefit from. If the tuition fees were addressed I’d definitely vote.”
Gary Popple, 20, a contemporary arts student, said: “I don’t even know how to vote. I think if each party did bullet points of what they pledged to change and you could do it online I’d probably vote depending on what they had to offer.”
Helena Davies, 19, a contemporary arts student said: “If it was student-friendly or even under-25s friendly, I think most people would understand it more. I couldn’t tell you what each party stood for. I don’t even know if my parents vote.”
Abigail Holdroyd, 19, studying contemporary arts, said: “Nothing that they pledge appeals to young people so why would we vote? Maybe when I’m older I’ll vote because it might matter to me, but at the moment it doesn’t.”
Callum Varley, 20, a sports exercise student, said: “I understand politics, but I don’t vote. I don’t think it’ll make a difference and even if they did pledge to lower tuition fees I wouldn’t vote because I’m in my third year now so even that doesn’t appeal to me.”
And Hannah Solanki, 21, an events management student, said: “I will be voting this year for the Green party because that’s who my parents vote for.”
Chloe Moore, 21, a nutrition and public health student, said: “I don’t plan on voting, but if I did I would vote Conservative, generally just because my parents vote Conservative. I couldn’t name the leaders of the main parties, it just doesn’t interest me, I don’t need to know them. I think if they were to directly focus on students maybe via a Facebook link or something they’d get a lot more votes but they don’t give us the time of day.”