Labour’s tuition fee cut promise and the student vote

Stephen Fisher, 27th February 2015

Today Ed Miliband announced that a Labour government would cut university tuition fees from £9000 to £6000 a year.

In December the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) published a report I co-authored showing that the student vote seemed to respond to the changing pattern of generosity of party policies on higher education funding since 1997. Most notably in 2001, 2005, and 2010 the Liberal Democrats did particularly well among students by offering the most generous package.

But this does not mean that Labour will reap big rewards for their promise today. Continue reading Labour’s tuition fee cut promise and the student vote

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Labour need to tempt not terrify the voters they have lost to the SNP

by Stephen Fisher

Abstract: This post summarises the main points from the national and constituency polls in Scotland before discussing what might help Labour north of the border. The British Election Study survey evidence suggests that Scottish Labour MPs will not be saved by incumbency effects or tactical voting, so the party will primarily need to attract a significant number of their former voters back from the SNP. Arguing that “votes for the SNP help the Tories” seems unlikely to help as the former Labour voters who now support the SNP care little for Miliband over Cameron, or even Labour over the Conservatives. Instead of scaring they need positive persuasion with something that appeals to their strong preferences for more devolution and against austerity cuts. The recent Vow+ demand for greater devolution of welfare benefits seems to fit the bill. Whether it will prove convincing is another matter. Continue reading Labour need to tempt not terrify the voters they have lost to the SNP