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Politics: How much do you know?

16th March 2010

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A third of students do not know Gordon Brown is the leader of the Labour Party, according to recent research.

The poll also found that 47% of students are highly unlikely to vote in the next general election, despite student-related issues such as the tuition fees debate being high on the political agenda. 1,566 students were surveyed in the poll by student accommodation provider Unite.

The findings of the poll does not help the NUS campaign 'Vote for Students', which hopes to mobilise the student vote to prevent tuition fees rising. NUS President Wes Streeting denied that students do not care about politics: "In many seats up and down the country the student vote has made a decisive difference in previous general elections and will do so again.

"There is a wealth of evidence to show that students care about politics and realise its impact upon their lives such as fees and housing, particularly when it comes to those who seek to charge them more for less.

"Last year, research by Opinionpanel showed that a political party's position on tuition fees would affect how 79% of students would vote in a general election. This is hardly indicative of an apathetic and out-of-touch student population."

The poll also found that 34% did not know David Cameron was leader of the Conservatives, and less than half knew Nick Clegg leads the Liberal Democrats.

Queen's University Belfast student Chris McGurn perhaps sums up the attitude of many students: "Students are too busy with lectures and coursework during the day, and socialising by night, to take an interest in politics."

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