• Lincoln students express strong support for remaining in the EU

    Lincoln students express strong support for remaining in the EU

    Dr Andrew Defty, Politics Programme Leader

    Dr Andrew Defty, Politics Programme Leader

    Students of politics and international relations at the University of Lincoln have expressed overwhelming support for remaining in the European Union in a poll carried out in the School of Social and Political Sciences. In a poll of 125 students, 82% said they would like Britain to remain in the EU, while only 18% think Britain should leave. The poll, which was carried out by Dr Andrew Defty, Politics Programme Leader at the University, included students on degrees in politics, international relations and economics.

    Dr Defty said, ‘I have polled our first year students on their voting intentions on a regular basis for a number of years but this is the first time I have tried to poll students across all three year groups, and as such, it is the largest poll I’ve conducted to date. Our students were keen to take part and eager to know the results.’

    He added that: ‘The results are not particularly surprising. We know that in national polls support for remaining in the EU is strongest amongst the 18-24 age group, and most, although by no means all, of our students, fall into that age category. There is also some evidence that support for remaining in the EU is considerably higher amongst those who have been to university, which this poll would also seem to support. While the results are not surprising they do serve to underline the strength of support for remaining in the EU amongst young people.’

    The poll, which also asked students which political party they would vote for in a general election, indicated that support for remaining in the EU was strong amongst supporters of almost all parties.  Conservative voting students were most divided, with just over two thirds in favour of remaining in the EU while less than a third think Britain should leave. 88% of Labour voting students, 83% of Green Party supporters and all Liberal Democrat voting students polled want Britain to remain in. Only four of those polled said they supported UKIP.

    The EU referendum has, not surprisingly, been the source of considerable debate amongst those studying politics and international relations at Lincoln.  Dr Defty reports that although a large proportion of students support remaining in the EU, there are a number of students who have been actively campaigning to leave and as a result there have been some informed and heated debates in class. Dr Defty concluded, ‘of course the real challenge for the ‘remain’ campaign is to ensure that young people turn out and vote in the referendum. Young people may be strong supporters of the EU but they are also the group least likely to vote in elections. Polls like this suggest that the level of participation amongst young people could make a significant difference to the outcome.’

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