Political Party Fact-files

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General Election Coverage brought to you by LSU Media News

With General Election campaigning in full swing and voting just a few days away, Label are bringing you Party Fact-files. You can view our Feature on the five “main” parties- which outlines the policies of the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, Labour, the Green Party and UKIP in the Spring Issue of Label out May 1st. Here we have covered all parties who held seats in the last Government- and highlighted specifically what their plan are for students. You can head to LSU Media News for further General Elections coverage!

Katherine Hardiman and Beatrice Quarshie

Firstly, let’s take a look at the parties who have local candidates- find out how they performed in the Loughborough Candidates Election Debate here!

Conservative Party
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Loughborough Conservative Candidate: Nicky Morgan

Leader: David Cameron

Loughborough Candidate: Nicky Morgan

Number of Seats in Last Parliament: 306

Slogan: “Let’s Stay On The Road To A Stronger Economy”

Political Stance: Right Wing

Plans for students: No strong student plan, they stand to keep tuition fees as they are – up to £9000 a year – and oppose the idea of lowering the voting age to 16. Although a large amount of debt on your back straight after leaving uni isn’t anyone’s dream, the current system doesn’t seem to be doing any astronomical damage either.


Labour Party
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Loughborough Labour Candidate: Matthew O’ Callaghan

Party Leader: Ed Miliband

Loughborough Candidate: Matthew O’Callaghan

Number of Seats in Last Parliament: 258

Slogan: “A Better Plan For A Better Future”

Political Stance: Left Wing

Plans for students: Reduce tuition fees to £6000 a year and lower the voting age to 16 to let younger people have their say. These all appear to be good ideas, but in practise the reduction in fees isn’t enough to stop the burden of overshadowing and everlasting debt. Lowering the voting age does allow for a more inclusive election, but at 16 can you really be able to make representative and fair decisions on government policy?


Liberal Democrats
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Loughborough Liberal Democrats Candidate: Steve Coltman

Party Leader: Nick Clegg

Loughborough Candidate: Steve Coltman

Number of Seats in Last Parliament: 57

Slogan: “Look Left, Look Right, Then Cross”

Political Stance: Middle-Ground

Plans for students: Discounting bus fares for 16-21 year olds by 2/3rds and lower the voting age to 16. Transport prices are astronomical at times, but there are already rail and bus cards in place for students to discount fares, so is the Lib Dem student plan even really worth it?


Green Party
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Loughborough Green Party Candidate: Matt Sisson

Party Leader: Natalie Louise Bennett

Loughborough Candidate: Matt Sisson

Number of Seats in Last Parliament: 1

Slogan: “For the Common Good”

Political Stance: Left Wing

Plans for students: Approve the 16-year-old voting age and completely scrap university tuition. Having no tuition fees is undoubtedly a popular idea, but you have to recognise that they must be there for a wider economic reason. Saying and doing are different; they need to make their plan clearer if they want more people to support them.


UKIP
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Loughborough UKIP Candidate: Bill Piper

Party Leader: Nigel Farage

Loughborough Candidate: Bill Piper

Number of Seats in Last Parliament: 0 (2 gained in by- elections)

Slogan: “Believe in Britain”

Political Stance: Right Wing

Plans for students: Apprenticeships for people that don’t do a science, technology or engineering course. Wave tuition for those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds and do such preferred subjects. Tuition would be equal for EU and non-EU students. UKIP provide, as always, the radical decisions that are also well thought out plans. By eradicating the majority of university subjects, UKIP are short sighted in their approach to the long term. You can’t pay companies to run apprenticeships without getting money to pay them from somewhere, and you’re not talking about a few people – you’re talking about everyone who would opt for any other course than a science, technology or engineering one. Where would they get that kind of money? There are a lot of unanswered questions there.


One of the rising parties…why not read a comment piece on the possibility of a Labour and SNP coalition?

SNP (Scottish National Party)

Party Leader: Nicola Sturgeon

Loughborough Candidate: n/asnp

Number of Seats in Last Parliament: 6

Slogan: “Together we can make Scotland better”

Political Stance: Left Wing

Plans for students: Student plans focus on Scottish education. Scottish tuition would still be non-existent and loans and grants will still be offered. They want to lower the voting age to 16. Like the conservatives, SNP stick to their roots when it comes to university education but in doing so they disregard the needs of the rest of the country.

Katherine Hardiman

Photography by Liam Cooke and Mark Rennie


The rest of these parties are listed in order of number of seats held in the 2010-2015 Government. 

DUP (Democratic Unionist Party)

Leader: Peter Robinson MLA

Loughborough Candidate: n/aDUP

Number of Seats in Last Parliament: 8

Slogan: “Let’s Keep Northern Ireland Moving Forward”

Political Position: Right wing

Plans for young people and/or students: DUP propose to invest in schools to make them appropriate for the 21st century as well as making higher education affordable for everyone.


Sinn Féin

Leader: Gerry Adams

Loughborough Candidate: n/asf-logo

Number of Seats in Last Parliament: 5

Slogan: Building an Ireland of Equals

Political Position: Left wing

Plans for young people and/or students: Sinn Féin plan to support the rights of the Irish language community by promoting an Irish Medium Education.


Independent

Some MPs are without a party and stand alone. The last Parliament saw 5 Independent MPs by 2015, one being elected initially in the 2010 election. Although they are with very little media coverage, these MPs prove that you can make a personal difference, even without a party!


Plaid Cymru

Leader: Leanne WoodPLaid

Loughborough Candidate: n/a

Number of Seats in Last Parliament: 3

Slogan: “Party of Wales”

Political Position: Left wing

Plans for young people and/or students: Plaid Cymru is campaigning for ore support for university students of STEM subjects who stay in Wales to study.


SDLP (Socialist Democratic and Labour Party)

Leader: Alasdair McDonnell

Loughborough Candidate: n/aSDLP Logo

Number of Seats in Last Parliament: 3

Slogan: “Prosperity not Austerity”

Political Position: Centre left

Plans for young people and/or students: SDLP believes in the expansion of higher education, particularly the expansion at Ulster University’s Magee campus, the creation of additional places at Higher Education and Further Education institutions is in the hope of combatting the brain drain.


Alliance Party

Leader: David Ford

Loughborough Candidate: n/aAlliance

Number of Seats in Last Parliament: 1

Slogan: “For Everyone”

Political Position: Centre

Plans for young people and/or students: Alliance aims to intervene early and create prevention strategies to cut the amount of people not in education, employment or training.


Respect Party

Leader: George Galloway

Loughborough Candidate: n/arespect

Number of Seats in Last Parliament: 1

Slogan: “Peace, Justice and Equality”

Political Position: Left wing

Plans for young people and/or students: Respect believes education should be a right not a privilege and for this reason they are campaigning to end tuition fees without cutting educational standards.

Beatrice Quarshie


Be sure to check LSU Media News for updates on the General Election as well as comment pieces and general information to assist in making the right choice for you

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