Interview: "Students Came Out in Force" Says Kent's SU President | Zac Ntim

The clock hit ten, and the exit polls pointed to a hung parliament – a disastrous result for Theresa May and the Conservative party. Throughout the night Labour picked up huge wins in historically safe Tory seats such as Battersea, Reading East, Enfield Southgate, and most notably Canterbury, a Conservative stronghold for over 90 years. Results such as this, due largely to a surge in young people turning up to cast their vote.

The president of Kent’s student union, Rory Murray said: “Canterbury is home to about 40,000 students, on Thursday students came out in force to vote for change.

“It’s the first time in recent history that a general election has been held during term time which has allowed students to come out and ensure that they cannot be ignored anymore”.

Young voters registered their biggest turn-out since 1997, with a 2% increase. There is much speculation why this so called youthquake occurred, and predominantly in Labour’s favour. Corbyn’s proposed scrapping of tuition fees would seem the greatest incentive, but Rory believes: “students are bored of being ignored by Governments who continue to squeeze young people.

“Whether through cuts to school budgets, ever increasing tuition fees, the removal of maintenance grants, major changes to disabled students allowance or uncertainty around Brexit”.

Kent SU President Rory Murray (Via YouTube)
It seems the young vote can no longer be ignored, or taken for granted. For once we turned up and showed out – our voice was heard. Labour enjoyed much of this, and rightfully so, Corbyn’s party engaged with students and presented policy which addressed our quarrels.

In the future, I predict politicians will increasingly target young voters, and aim to monopolise our voice, Rory agreed saying: “Politicians must engage meaningfully with students ensuring they listen to the concerns of those in education.

“Political parties need to ensure that they create the space for students and young people to get involved. It’s also high time that we reduced the voting age to 16 and created a comprehensive political education curriculum in schools”.

Zac Ntim is a journalism student and writer for Student Voices.
Twitter: @ZacharyNtim
Interview: "Students Came Out in Force" Says Kent's SU President | Zac Ntim Interview: "Students Came Out in Force" Says Kent's SU President | Zac Ntim Reviewed by Student Voices on 14:05 Rating: 5

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