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Ripples of broken promises

Students don’t vote for political parties that have reneged on earlier manifesto pledges.

Nick Clegg now has one more reason to rue the day he allowed the abolition of tuition fees to become party policy. Youngsters are particularly deterred from voting for parties that fail to honour previous election promises, according to a study published today.

In its 2001 manifesto the Labour party promised not to introduce “top up fees”, before trebling tuition fees for English undergraduates to £3,000 after the election. The party saw a large drop in student support in the 2005 general election. In the 2010 general election, the Liberal Democrats saw a blossoming of student support in response to their pledge to phase out tuitions fees. Once in the coalition government, tuition fees were again trebled to £9,000. A 2014 survey of voting intentions suggests that student support for the Liberal Democrats, which stood at 44 per cent in 2010, has dropped to 13 per cent.

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