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Students’ takes on politics in 2020

Posted in Student Life by on January 23, 2020


Throughout history, students and politics have always gone hand in hand, for better or worse. No matter how politically engaged you are or which side you lean towards, one thing is for sure: these are politically confused times.

So, maybe it’s unsurprising that some of us studying at the minute are dismissive or disinterested in politics as a whole. We’ve just had a general election that was the culmination of three years of strife, setbacks and missed deadlines. With things as unclear as ever, new leaders coming and going, and a general atmosphere of confusion, how well do the students of today know the political world?

We devised a quiz to see which major political figures students across could recognise. How did they do? Be sure to check out the results below…


Which political figures did students recognise?




Having recently won the general election, it’s no surprise that every participant recognised Conservative Party leader Boris Johnson, despite going up against similarly-thatched hairdo maestro Donald Trump in our quiz.

Likewise, former Tory leader Theresa May garnered correct guesses across the board, while Jeremy Corbyn, Nicola Sturgeon and Nigel Farage racked up 99% of the right answers. Again, these are big names on the political stage, so the results make plenty of sense. However, 7% thought that Jacob Rees-Mogg was actually Michael Gove. Overall, 36% of the students knew every politician in the list, but as the below shows, other participants struggled…

The vast majority of participants recognised both Lib Dem’s Jo Swinson and House of Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg, while Green Party’s Jonathan Bartley was the least recognised, though still with a decent 78% of participants knowing who he was.

One of the many political hot potatoes going on right now is who the next Labour leader will be. Based on the results here, Jess Phillips could well come out on top, with 85% of participants recognising her out of the current frontrunners. Emily Thornberry came in second, with Keir Starmer gaining third place – that means a quarter of students did not recognise the apparent favourite to be the next Labour leader.

Rebecca Long-Bailey garnered 65%, while Angela Raynor and Lisa Nandy gained 66% and 64% respectively, despite Raynor no longer being in the running to be leader.

How did the results differ region to region?


Across the country, the results had their fair share of differences from region to region. Theresa May was the most recognised politician and the only one who every single participant from every region recognised.

Rebecca Long-Bailey was well recognised in the nation’s capital, but her image stumped West Midlanders the most, where she was least identified correctly.

In Wales, Green Party leader Jonathan Bartley was least recognised, whereas the East and North East could identify the leader, who also plays drums in the blues rock band The Mustangs (apparently).

In the North West, Keir Starmer was least known with 65% recognising the frontrunner, but Jess Phillips fared better, with 88% of northern students able to pick her out in our quiz.

Despite his “eccentricities” (to put them mildly), 15% of Scottish students failed to recognise Jacob-Rees Mogg, while 5% of students in Northern Ireland couldn’t pick Nicola Sturgeon out of the line-up. Finally, Lisa Nandy, Wigan’s first female MP, was least recognised in Yorkshire.

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