Election 2017

Young vote against Lib Dems in Yorkshire

Elsi from Headingley
Image caption Midwifery student Elsi said she voted Labour because of its support for the NHS

Young voters in Yorkshire played their part in toppling two Liberal Democrat MPs on election night.

Former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg lost his seat to the Labour Party in Sheffield Hallam, as did Lib Dem Greg Mulholland in Leeds North West.

Both have strong student numbers, the Leeds constituency being the area with the biggest increase in registered voters in the past year.

Some cited their reasons for voting Labour as a protest against the Tories.

Others prioritised the NHS and local education as key election issues.

The result was Alex Sobel taking the Leeds North West seat by more than 4,000 votes for Labour and Mr Clegg losing to Labour's Jared O'Mara by more than 2,000 votes.

Alex Keen, 23, from Headingley, is studying a masters degree in biodiversity and conservation at the University of Leeds.

Image caption Posters on shop windows in the Leeds constituency show the front runners
Image caption Leeds North West stretches from Yeadon in the north west and Otley in the north east to Headingley in the south

"I had never considered voting Lib Dem after the coalition," he said.

"I'd say I was all aboard Jeremy's bandwagon, I went to a rally and he sold his manifesto to me. As for Tim Farron, his views on same sex marriage, well that was enough to put me off.

"I am normally a green voter but this time it was about tactical voting."

Rashelle Thomas-Jarrett, 23, a healthcare student also from Headingley, said: "I was Green all the way, but as we saw the Conservatives lead was increasing I thought I needed to do something.

"I thought if I did vote Labour there was more of a chance of getting Theresa May out.

"I'm a healthcare student so the NHS is a massive thing for one. You just couldn't vote for a Conservative government for that reason."

Image caption Rashelle normally votes Green but voted Labour as a protest vote
Image caption Alex said he never considered the Lib Dems after the coalition

Elsi, 19, a midwifery student from Headingley, said: "I voted Labour. I was more anti-Tory than for a specific group. It was more of a strategic vote.

"I'm an NHS student so that was a factor. Labour is very supportive of funding the NHS and supporting that. It wasn't just for my career but it was for helping other people too."

Engineering student Dan Piper, 20, lives in Headingley in the Leeds North West constituency but cast a postal vote in his hometown of Ulverston.

"I voted Lib Dem but it was a tough choice. I think Conservative policies are not working for most people, more for the higher earners.

"I had a look at Labour's policies and thought they went a bit too far. They were trying to put a lot of money into things that they couldn't afford.

"I'm OK with tuition fees. I'm a student and my fees are £18,000 a year but I will happily pay."

It appears the surge in new voters in Leeds North West managed to win Labour an extra seat, possibly helped by a visit from Jeremy Corbyn during his campaign.

About 3,000 people packed a courtyard, road and parts of a park opposite Brudenell Social Club in Hyde Park, Leeds, when he visited on 15 May.

Image caption Engineering student Dan Piper said he was happy to pay tuition fees and voted Lib Dem
Image caption Leeds North West includes Headingley, which is a predominantly student area

In Sheffield Hallam, young voter Amy Smith, 23, said Corbyn "speaks their language".

She said: "Young people are actually getting involved and know that there's someone out there that's not letting them down and can give them a future they can actually work for and live in.

"Corbyn has been really good at galvanising people to get out and get interested in politics because he speaks their language."

Charlie Heywood-Heath, also from Sheffield, said: "I think they've [politicians] realised actually young people probably are more important when it comes to the voting demographic."

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