Did college students seal Labour’s victory in Canterbury?

Did students seal Labour's victory in Canterbury?

Rosie Duffield campaigning in the cityPicture copyright

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Rosie Duffield elevated her majority to 1,836

The Conservatives have crushed Labour in its conventional heartlands and strengthened elsewhere. However within the metropolis of Canterbury Labour’s Rosie Duffield bucked the pattern and elevated her majority within the as soon as marginal seat. How?

On a gray and grim polling day, lengthy queues shaped on a college campus in Canterbury and one other within the metropolis centre, near a second campus.

The council operating the polling stations known as in further employees and organised a much bigger room to assist get the scholars out of the rain.

Just a few hours later, it was introduced that Labour’s incumbent MP Rosie Duffield had turned a majority of simply 187 into 1,836. The chart beneath exhibits the total vote share breakdown. And turnout rose from 72.77% in 2017 to 75.3% two years later – defying a nationwide dip.


Vote share



Liberal Democrat


Vote share change since 2017

So, are the scholars who queued within the rain liable for her victory? Canterbury’s two universities have a sizeable affect on town’s make up.

Greater than 16,500 college students are registered on the College of Kent’s campus, whereas Canterbury Christ Church College has an estimated 15,300 on its books.

In the meantime, census information says one in 4 staff – or 14,000 individuals – are employed within the schooling sector – in comparison with one in 10 throughout Kent as complete.

‘European affect’

College of Kent college students Xavier Hennessy-Vass and Wolf Acker, each 21, voted Labour.

Mr Hennessy-Vass mentioned college college students “undoubtedly gained [Ms Duffield] the election”.

He mentioned he “undoubtedly was backing Jeremy [Corbyn]” when he positioned his vote, including: “Most likely for me it was extra the nationwide image, however I knew this was a marginal seat.

“This was one that would make an enormous distinction.”

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Wolf Acker (proper) voted in marginal Canterbury moderately than his dwelling city of Lewes

Mr Acker mentioned he voted Labour primarily to oppose Brexit.

“I may have voted in Lewes, my dwelling city, however that is just about assured Tory on this election so I made a decision to solid my vote right here, as a result of I knew it was marginal,” he mentioned.

The college had a “big European affect” and he mentioned he believed that may have influenced loads of college students’ votes.

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Kent Union

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Further polling station employees had been known as as college students queued to vote within the rain

Lib Dem candidate Tim Walker stepped down on 12 November, fearing he would break up the stay vote and permit a Tory win.

Reacting to the elevated majority, he advised the BBC that “voters within the constituency can take nice delight in the best way they put conventional celebration allegiance to at least one facet and pulled collectively to get the outcome that the overwhelming majority wished”.

The celebration changed Mr Walker with Claire Malcomson, who gained simply 5.7% of the vote. The Inexperienced Occasion didn’t area a candidate.

Shortly after the outcome was introduced, Ms Duffield thanked the the 2 rival events’ supporters for “coalescing behind me”.

“I feel one in all issues that tipped the stability for me was that coalition of votes and the opposite events lending me their votes,” she mentioned.

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Molly Wade (left) mentioned she felt like a minority voter by choosing the Conservatives

Enterprise and German pupil Amy Ratcliffe, 19, voted Labour on campus.

She had wished to vote Lib Dem, she mentioned, however knew it had turn into a two-horse race, including: “I would moderately Labour over Conservative, in order that’s why I tactically voted for Labour.”

Her buddy Molly Wade voted Conservative, as a result of she didn’t belief Labour on safety, including: “I can not ever vote for Jeremy Corbyn.”

They each mentioned Labour was the dominant drive on their social media channels and on campus.

Ms Wade mentioned: “I really feel like I am a minority. No-one I do know has voted Conservative.”

She added that she feared she could be labelled a “racist or Islamophobic” for her alternative.

Discover a constituency

In the event you can not see the graphic above, click on right here.

On Friday, the campus was nonetheless suffering from “Vote Labour” stickers and flyers imploring college students to “vote Stay; vote Rosie Duffield”.

Sasha Langerveldt, president of the politically-neutral pupil union, mentioned the coed vote “undoubtedly impacted in an enormous manner”.

She mentioned candidates had been at pains to woo potential voters on campus, including: “From the final election I feel they’ve realised they cannot sleep on the coed vote.

“They’ve to have interaction.”

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