‘Students will be bombarded with a single message over the next few weeks: vote. In the run-up to the general election, Universities UK, the vice-chancellors’ organisation, is encouraging lecturers and staff to remind students to get their names on the electoral register, and is supporting institutions to do the same via Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat. Students’ union officers will, meanwhile, be milling around campuses with iPads, helping students to register on the spot.
“We want to remind students of what they need to do, when they need to do it by and what date,” says Nicky Old, Universities UK’s communication director.
Research suggests the student vote has little impact in general elections – but this one could be different. A survey of 1,000 full-time undergraduates published last week by the Higher Education Policy Institute (Hepi) and YouthSight found that unusually high numbers had registered to vote (93%) and were planning to vote Labour (55%). Many were considering voting tactically.
Before the EU referendum, the fear was that student turnout would be low. Turnout among the younger age group had been just 43% in the 2015 general election, compared with 66% overall. However, despite the fears, in the referendum more than 90% of the eligible student population registered to vote and 87% voted – higher than the overall turnout of 72%. But while only 15% of student voters voted leave, Brexiters won the day.’ - Guardian