UKIP will be invited to a debate jointly organised by the Students’ Union and Politics Society after 70% of students polled supported a move to invite all candidates.
Originally, the Students’ Union Executive Committee had decided to only invite parties that received more than 5% of the ‘Brighton Pavilion’ constituency vote in 2010.
The Students’ Union decided to hold an online opinion poll after complaints from the Politics Society that the decision was “unjust and not in keeping the with the Union’s commitment to democracy”.
The poll was ‘non-binding’ and did not achieve the required number of votes (450) to be considered representative. However, after viewing the results of the poll, the Executive Committee has voted to invite all candidates standing in the constituency.
The question asked was:
Should the Students’ Union uphold the current threshold of 5% of the popular vote from the 2010 General Election in the Brighton Pavilion Constituency to be invited to the Candidates Question Time Event in March 2015?
Most of the debate has centered around the inclusion of UKIP, however the online poll asked students to choose between upholding the status quo or inviting all candidates standing. There was no option for a five-way event, involving: Conservative, Green, Labour, Lib-Dem and UKIP candidates.
Michael Segalov, Students’ Union Communications Officer, said: “This opinion poll was drafted at short notice to ensure that students had an opportunity to have their say on the format for the question time event. This was done through the correct democratic process and in conjunction with the Politics Society.
“We always encourage students to be part of our democratic channels. Policies can be made by students submitting petitions on our new website and if any students wish to do this they are free to come and speak to me at any time.”
The poll closed on Thursday 19 January. 70% of those polled voted ‘No’ and 37% voted ‘Yes’. 327 students participated.