Hundreds of Sheffield College students voted for the UK to remain in Europe in a mock EU referendum.
In a vote marked on ping pong balls that were then put into glass bowls, nearly 70 per cent of the 365 students who took part in the vote said the UK should stay in the European Union.
The college’s result comes after a survey published earlier this month found that support for the UK to remain in Europe is strongest amongst young people; the group least likely to vote. Opinium found that, in the 18-34 age group, 53 per cent said they backed staying in, against 29 per cent who wanted to leave. But only just over half, 52 per cent, in this age group said they were certain to go out and vote.
James Bangert, President at Sheffield College Students’ Union, said: “Our mock referendum was both a serious and fun way of raising awareness on a historic decision that will have far reaching consequences for all citizens, especially young people.
“The mock referendum allowed those students who will not be eligible to vote in the real one to have their say. It also gave students who are old enough to vote time to have a practice run and think about the impact of their decision on June 23.”
In the real EU referendum at the end of June, only those over 18 will be able to cast a vote.
However, the Sheffield College EU referendum, which was held at the college’s four main campuses over three days, sparked debate amongst students of all ages.
Richard Tomlinson, aged 19, who is studying on a foundation course at the Hillsborough campus, is one of those who voted for the UK to remain in Europe. He said: “I have changed my mind in the last few weeks. I used to think that we were better off leaving the EU, but my view now is that we should probably stay in.”
Michael Maloney, 18, who is studying childcare at The Sheffield College City campus on Granville Road, disagrees with Richard. He said: “I am leaning towards us coming out of the EU. It could be a change for the better.”