Voters say they will prioritise education

Education is the third most important issue in the coming election according to a poll of 1,000 parents of school-age children in England by the National Education Union (NEU), with 28 per cent of respondents putting it in their top two or three priorities.

The NEU’s poll highlights that the importance of education is growing in the run-up to this election, with parents alongside teachers, head teachers and support staff, now saying they will prioritise on voting for education.

According to feedback, top issues for voters are the NHS (55 percent) and the EU and Brexit (29 per cent). The poll also found that the majority of parents who intended to vote for a particular party would vote Labour (38 per cent), 1 per cent more than when the question was asked a week previously.

The Conservatives also gained 1 per cent, with 33 per cent of parents who intended to vote or had chosen a particular party planning to vote for them.

The Liberal Democrats received 11 per cent of intended votes, Brexit Party 9 per cent, UKIP 4 per cent and the Green Party 4 per cent.

Other results include:

  • 38 per cent of respondents had seen Labour talking about education. This compares with 27 per cent for the Conservatives, 16 per cent for the Liberal Democrats, 8 per cent for the Brexit Party, and 4 per cent apiece for UKIP and the Green Party.
  • 26 per cent of parents were most impressed by Labour's policies, with 16 per cent saying they were most impressed by the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats 10 per cent. The Brexit Party got 5 per cent, UKIP 2 per cent and the Green Party 3 per cent.

The poll invited parents to comment on specific issues, with 78 per cent agreeing that child poverty was a big issue in Britain today and 54 per cent saying they did not believe funding for state schools in their area was sufficient.

Conducted between Thursday 22 and Sunday 25 November, this was just as the major parties were gaining media coverage for the launch of their manifestos – the Liberal Democrats on 20 November, Labour on 21 November, and the Conservatives on 24 November – although the bulk of their education policies were already in the public domain.

Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the NEU, said, ‘This election is about much more than Brexit, as demonstrated by this poll of parents. Education is cutting through, with parents now ranking it almost as important as Brexit. 

Access the poll here

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