Vote split on subject lines

1st June 2001 at 01:00
If you teach maths, the chances are you'll vote Labour in next week's general election. If your subject is English, it's more likely you're a Liberal Democrat. But if you're a geographer, there's a strong chance you want the Tories back in power.

That is a perhaps simplistic conclusion to be drawn from a survey this week of student teachers.

The poll at Manchester Metropolitan University, by Janet Palmer, who teaches citizenship there, offered crumbs of comfort for all three major parties.

It found that not a single secondary maths specialist would be voting anything other than Labour in next week's election. The party could also rely n strong support from historians and RE teachers. Most Lib Dem votes came from English and social studies trainees.

But Conservatives should beware. Although geographers were the most likely to back the Tories, only half expressed support for the party. The rest said that they would not be voting at all.

Nearly 40 per cent of the trainee teachers did not know who to vote for or would not be voting.

Ms Palmer said: "Teachers have to teach citizenship, which includes the importance of voting and playing a part the democratic process. I wonder what are the consequences of these future teachers not voting."

Eleanor Levenson

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