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Tuition fees row puts off voters
Most parents with children under the age of 18 would not vote for an MP who broke a pledge against increasing university tuition fees, according to a new poll.
The findings were released ahead of a demonstration in London by thousands of students to call for investment in education and employment, and to protest at the "shutting down" of opportunities for the next generation.
The National Union of Students (NUS) estimated that up to 10,000 youngsters from across the country will attend the event, which is aimed at expressing ongoing anger at the financial and other burdens facing students.
It will be the first national protest organised by the NUS since more than 50,000 people, including many lecturers, took part in a demonstration two years ago which was marred by violent clashes with police, leading to a number of arrests and injuries as well as complaints from students who were "kettled" outside Parliament.
The survey, covering almost 500 parents, showed that more than three out of five would not vote for an MP who broke a pre-election pledge to vote against increasing tuition fees while almost half believed they should resign.
NUS president Liam Burns said Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg won the trust, and votes, of young people and their parents by signing the pledge, but had now lost them "once and for all" by breaking it.
He said: "Most parents would like to see him and every other MP who broke the pledge go before they can do any more harm to the next generation.
"As students gather in London today to demand investment in education and employment, the countdown to the next general election has already begun.
"Many MPs of all party colours kept their promise, but those MPs who broke their pledge cannot wriggle their way out. They are living out their electoral lives on borrowed time."
The NUS said young people were being left with a "sense of desperation" for their futures amid major changes to education and a tough job market.