‘I’ve done a lot of crying’: Sheffield Hallam students respond to general election result

Connor Thorpe has been out and about on the Sheffield Hallam City Campus talking to students about the general election result.

The mood amongst Sheffield Hallam students is gloomy the morning after the general election.

Young people, including students, tend to favour Labour but the promised #youthquake was not enough to overcome the huge Conservative gains.

With the votes counted, Conservatives won 364 seats, their biggest majority since 1987. Labour suffered their worst performance since the 1930s, with only 203 seats.

Labour won all four seats in Sheffield, but local seats in Rother Valley and Penistone & Stocksbridge went to the Conservatives for the first time ever.

History student Frankie Pitzola said she’d “done a lot of crying” over the result.

“It’s pretty awful. We’re just going to get more years of austerity, rising poverty, homelessness, hate crimes and the rich getting away with not paying taxes. It’s not fair.

“Everyone was caught up thinking of getting Brexit done. I couldn’t even vote in the referendum, now I’m 20 and nothing’s happened – and it won’t any time soon.”

‘Shocked’

Abishek Darjee studies physics. He was disappointed and shocked with the result. 

“People are losing their trust in Labour. I’m worried about our NHS, I don’t know how much of that (talk of privatisation) is true but that’s the thing that people are worried about.”

Oliver Jones, a master’s student in Historical Research, fears Labour may never come back from this.

“I’m worried that we won’t ever see a Labour majority again because of voting patterns in Scotland.”

Labour only won one seat in Scotland this time, which is down by six from the 2017 results. 

Oliver added: “The most left wing manifesto since the 80s was overlooked because the party is so far detached from its homeland voter base. 

“Brexit played a part but so does the decline of working-class socialism.”

Students said they had not expected the scale of the Conservative win.

Alex Dobson, a law and criminology student, said: “It’s quite shocking, I didn’t expect such a landslide. Corbyn didn’t do so well because he barely focused on Brexit and that seems to be the priority at the minute. 

“As a student, you don’t know what’s going to happen with student loans and I worry about cuts to the public sector.”

Labour party member Kashmire Hawker has called for Jeremy Corbyn to resign.

“I’m gutted but with the handling of everything in the past four years under Jeremy Corbyn I’m not surprised.

“I’ve not been to an official Labour Party meeting in my home constituency (Wolverhampton North East) and that just shows the lack of organisation. We’ve taken voters for granted.”

‘Great victory’

Not everybody was disappointed with the results though. Politics student and Brexiteer Nathaniel Menday voted Conservative. He said it was a “great victory” for the Tories, but he thinks the impact it could have on politics is bigger than the result itself.

“The Conservatives have a chance to establish themselves as the party of the working class, whilst limiting Labour to being the party of the pretentious urban middle class. 

“To do this they need to deliver their popular promises like tougher sentencing, stop and search powers and a points based immigration system. Then use the finance created over the next Parliament to invest in the NHS and education and disability benefits.”

English and History student Lucy Schofield said she “couldn’t bring herself” to support Labour under Corbyn, but “voting Conservative is like a sin”. She voted for the Yorkshire Party.

“The Yorkshire Party candidate was the only one who bothered canvassing at my address. Their policies were actually best for my area (Rotherham).”

“I’m confident that he’ll get Brexit done now he’s got a big majority, now we can get our country back to normality and focus on the social issues.”

The president of the National Union of Students, Zamzam Ibrahim issued the following statement:

“This morning many students and young people will be anxious about their futures, but NUS’ responsibility will be to hold the new Conservative government to its promises on reintroducing nursing bursaries and the two-year post-study work visa, both of which they previously scrapped.

“They must also back up their commitment to treat mental health with the same urgency as physical health with additional funding for NHS services.”

 

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