Before the next General Election something needs to be done about the way that mass student voting is distorting the results of those wards and constituencies where they live, often against the wishes of the local residents.
Take a fresher who comes to Sheffield in mid- October and leaves on summer vacation in mid-July, having voted in the mid-May election of that year.
He or she will complete their degree courses two years and two months after the election and leave Sheffield with a well-earned degree.
A second year will leave one year and two months later, and a final year student a mere two months after the vote.
Yet the councillors standing in those wards will be elected for four years and MPs in those constituencies for five years. Why should people with such short-term involvement in all aspects of Sheffield life have such an influence on the democratic process and then move on to pastures new?
The solution is obvious and simple to set up.
Freshers should fill in postal voting forms for their home ward and constituency as part of their enrolment at the university.
This enfranchises all students with the democratic vote and negates the stampede to get on the electoral role that we saw in the run-up to the referendum.
It also results in a fairer representation of the local residents views at election time. One thing only will stop it happening, you would have to use the words “politician” and “common sense” in the same sentence.
Worcester Rd, Sheffield, S10