Most teachers who voted Labour switching to Lib Dems, poll finds

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The Independent Online

A dramatic slump in support for Labour among teachers is revealed in a poll for The Independent today.

A dramatic slump in support for Labour among teachers is revealed in a poll for The Independent today.

More than half of those who voted for the party in 2001 said they would not support it this time - with most of them switching to the Liberal Democrats.

The poll shows that the majority believe Labour has failed to deliver on its education reforms. The findings are a blow for Tony Blair who has sought to make education his top priority for his third election campaign running, and has focused on rising standards.

Of the 259 respondents who voted Labour last time, only 143 will do so again. The number opting for the Liberal Democrats has risen from 156 to 212 - making it the most popular party among teachers. Eighty-four said they would vote for the Tories this time, compared with 74 in 2001.

The poll, by the website Schoolzone, reveals massive discontent with Ruth Kelly, the Education Secretary. Only 51 of the 569 teachers responding to the poll believed she was doing a good job - with 293 saying she was not effective. A large majority - 364 - claimed Labour had failed to deliver on education while 176 said it had delivered.

One of the main reasons why teachers are unenthusiastic about the Tories is the proposal by the party leader, Michael Howard, to put the controversial former chief inspector of schools Chris Woodhead in charge of a review of the national curriculum.

Two separate polls published today byThe Times Higher Education Supplement reveal that a majority of students and academics plan to vote Liberal Democrat next Thursday.

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