Labour landslide nationally – but at QE, coalition government beckons!

Labour landslide nationally – but at QE, coalition government beckons!

While the country woke up on Friday to news of a Labour landslide in the General Election, at QE the political landscape looks very different, though still with scant consolation for the Conservatives.

In the School’s mock election, the Liberal Democrats emerged as easily the biggest party, with 21 of the 46 seats in QE’s parliament.

However, since he has no overall majority, the Lib Dems’ Ayaad Salahuddin has already struck a deal with Labour’s Shrey Verma, in second place, so that he can form a coalition government.

Headmaster Neil Enright said: “The mock election seeks to build awareness of the democratic process and get pupils engaged with campaigns, debates, polling and voting. My congratulations go to all the candidates for engaging so enthusiastically in the election process and especially to Ayaad on his victory.”

The run-up to the mock election included a hustings, where parties made their pitches and fielded questions from the audience. All the candidates were drawn from Year 12.

The boys have also been informed by visits in recent months of real politicians from all three leading parties. These were: Sir Vince Cable (former Liberal Democrat Leader and Business Secretary in the Coalition Government); Lord Michael Heseltine (former Conservative Deputy Prime Minister and long-serving Cabinet minister), and Labour’s parliamentary candidate (now new Chipping Barnet MP) Dan Tomlinson, following a previous visit from then local MP Theresa Villiers (Conservative).

Whereas in the country at large, the predictions of the exit poll proved quite accurate, at QE the story was very different: pre-election polling suggested the Conservatives would win, comfortably ahead of Labour, with the Liberal Democrats third. The actual result completely reversed this, giving the Lib Dems 21 seats, Labour 13 and the Conservatives only 7.

John Haswell, Acting Head of History & Politics, said: “The Lib Dems at QE ran a very successful social media campaign and built strong support among the younger year groups, where turnout was also higher.”

In fact, turnout among Year 7 was easily the highest, at almost 80%. Only small numbers of Year 11 cast votes, having recently completed their GCSEs, while Year 13 have already left (and no postal votes were available). One seat was allocated for each of the 46 forms in the School, excluding forms in Year 13.

In contrast to the overall School result, Year 12 gave strong backing to independent candidate Ayan Basharat.

The results were:

  • Ayaad Salahuddin – Liberal Democrats – 21 seats (45.6%)
  • Shrey Verma – Labour – 13 seats (28.3%)
  • Uday Dash – Conservatives – 7 seats (15.2%)
  • Arjun Mistry – Green Party – 3 seats (6.5%)
  • Rohan Varia – Reform Party – 1 seat (2.2%)
  • Ayan Basharat – Independent – 1 seat (2.2%)