Media Release: Government’s higher education changes will cost marginal seats

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Posted 14 July 2014 by Courtney Sloane (NTEU National Office)

Independent polling commissioned by the National Tertiary Education Union has confirmed that a range of marginal Government MPs would lose their seats if an election were held tomorrow.

The poll returned an average 10% swing against the Coalition in 23 marginal electorates around Australia since the Federal Election last year.

NTEU National President, Jeannie Rea said that this was a clear rejection of the Government’s changes to higher education.

“Both Christopher Pyne and Tony Abbott promised no changes to higher education funding arrangements prior to the election. Yet we are now presented with the most dramatic changes in over a generation,” Rea said.

“University funding will be cut, fees will go up and private providers will be subsidised by tax payers.

 “Parents don’t want to see their kids locked out of going to university, or saddled with debts of over $100,000,” Rea said.

The poll showed an average net approval rating of -31 for Tony Abbott. The only MPs to return negative approval ratings were Government MPs and included Christopher Pyne on -14 and Natasha Griggs on -18.

An average of 69% of people opposed increasing student fees and 65% opposed cutting public funding to universities.

“Australians clearly think a degree shouldn’t cost a mortgage. It makes you wonder whose interests these MPs are representing,” said Rea.

The poll was run between 14 June and 29 June 2014 and surveyed 23,176 people.

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