Exploring the rise in student political activism in the run up to the election, which party will young LGBT voters favour? The rise in political young voices sits interestingly as research has found that students could swing key constituencies.(British Election Study) With this swing vote, National Student Pride reveals it's interesting #VotePride statistics.
History is integral for young LGBT voters. Homosexuality was only decriminalised in the UK in 1967 and it was only in 2003 when Section 28 was repealed. Just 15 years ago the ban was lifted on gay people serving in the UK armed forces.
So what are the main political parties doing for LGBT people now? In 2013, the equal marriage bill passed overwhelmingly (majority of 400 to 175) today; in 2015 we see the push for same sex SRE (sex and relationship education).
Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Education is one of the 139 Tories who voted against equal marriage in 2013. It's unlikely that same sex SRE could be implemented under the current Conservative government, David Cameron has spoken about high-quality PHSE education in schools, but has never referred to LGBTI young people.
The Greens, Lib Dems and Labour have all released statements in favour of Same Sex SRE. Original open letter regarding Same Sex SRE can be found here.
To engage with young LGBT voters, this year National Student Pride launched a #VotePride campaign. The #VotePride political debate was hosted by Evan Davis and joined by journalist Owen Jones. On the panel sat Michael Cashman for Labour, Amelia Womack for the Greens, Mike Freer for the Conservatives and Simon Hughes for the Liberal Democrats. UKIP were invited but did not send a representative.
#VotePride at National Student Pride
A stand out moment regarding LGBT policy at the #VotePride debate happened when Simon Hughes from the Liberal Democrats announced that before the general election they intend to pardon all 49,000 people criminalised for homosexuality.
Following this a member of the audience asked the panel what they would do push LGBT rights further. Michael Cashman, Labour said that they (Labour) would help trans people who don't want to dissolve their marriage during transition.
So who should young LGBT people vote for? The Conservatives have a tough history, October saw UKIP's Nigel Farage make offensive comments about HIV-positive migrants - which leaves three with a clear chance; Labour, Green and The Liberal Democrats.
The Greens have seen a huge rise in membership during their surge and the growth of the Young Greens this year has been particularly interesting, this large increase now makes the Young Greens the fastest growing youth party in the country. (Green Party)
#VotePride at National Student Pride
So it's no surprise that the #VotePride poll revealed the Green party out at the top with 42% of the vote, Labour followed close behind with 39%, Conservatives with 10%, Liberal Democrats with 8% and UKIP with 1%. These figures also translated at the live event, with the Green party gaining loud cheers, as did the no show of UKIP. (Poll out of 1052 students who attended student pride)
The #VotePride poll is an important indicator of how vital it is to have LGBT policies. It's clear that Labour are not far behind, with stronger student policies can they close the gap and overtake the Greens in the battle to win the student vote?
For now the Green party are an obvious choice for students wanting change. Fears of climate change and the scrapping of tuition fees, social welfare policies, high representation of women and LGBT candidates are all reasons why.
You can listen to the full Vote Pride debate here.
Register to vote here.