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Student support for Labour is growing under Keir Starmer, new poll finds

Labour's Keir Starmer - Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Research by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) has found student support for Labour has risen during Keir Starmer’s leadership.

The new YouthSight data on voting intentions found that Labour was the most popular party among students, with 62% saying they would vote for the party.

Labour’s student backers have risen considerably under Starmer, after the last poll taken in August 2019 found that just 38% intended to vote for the party when Jeremy Corbyn was at the helm.

Support for Starmer as leader has not yet reached the 35% support level of Jeremy Corbyn at his peak, with Starmer’s favourability rating among students sitting at 16%. 

Starmer’s support is significantly greater than support for Jeremy Corbyn was at the same point last year however, where Corbyn’s favourability rating was down to just 1%.

Boris Johnson’s favourability rating currently sits at a dismal -43%.

The Conservatives are currently the second most popular party among students, however support has now shrunk to just 12%.

Student support for the Green Party currently sits at 9%, while just 8% say they would vote for the Liberal Democrats.

Female students were found to be much more likely to vote Labour with 69% supporting the party, while just over half of male students said they would back the party.

As many as 83% of students say they are likely to vote in the next election.

Rachel Hewitt, director of policy and advocacy at the HEPI, said: “Today’s results may be surprising to those who believed Corbynism was entrenched in university campuses. 

“While Keir Starmer’s own favourability rating has not reached the levels achieved by Jeremy Corbyn, support for the Labour Party among students has risen since his election as leader, after a significant decline under Corbyn last summer. 

“While the next election is still a way off, if Starmer continues on this trajectory he can feel confident of support from this key target group for Labour.”