Just 25% voted in their university constituencies
With an election potentially taking place in December, political strategists are concerned about whether or not the day of the vote will fall during university term-time.
Labour, the Lib Dems and SNP all believe that they benefit much more from a term-time election, when the students (who are more likely to vote for their parties) are still concentrated in university constituencies. Should students be back at their family homes on ballot day, they fear the dispersed student vote could see them lose their university seats.
They may be worrying too much, however, as few students voted in their university constituencies in 2017 in the first place, so an election happening outside of term time might not represent a big change from last time. Our study, conducted in 2018, but published for the first time today, found that fully 70% of those students who voted at the 2017 general election did so in the constituency where their family home is located. Only 25% did so in their university constituency.
The 2017 general election took place on 8 June, following exam period, so students were likely to be home for the summer, meaning the results are of only limited predictive use for where students might vote should an election take place on a date where most students are still on campus.
This article originally stated that the 2017 general election took place in academic term time, but in many cases students will have already finished their final exams and departed for home