What do young people think of our election candidates?
The Ambler’s 16 year old reporter Lily Tibbitts met all four of our 2019 election candidates, to gauge their views on issues important to young people.
Before the election, all four candidates in the Berwick constituency came to James Calvert Spence College so the students (aged 11-16) could ask questions about the issues that mattered to them, and see what each party thought about young people’s vote for their party.
Thomas Stewart, the Green Party candidate, says that young people are much more likely to vote for them. “There was a recent study on who was willing to vote for green politics, and it was the young people, who are more educated. We’re engaging with the youth much more than other parties as the green party is about protecting the future.” He also addressed the issue of the climate emergency, stating that: “We’re at a point where if we don’t address the climate emergency it will become unmanageable. It should be treated as an emergency, like we’re declaring war.”
Similarly, the Liberal Democrat candidate Tom Hancock stated his opinions on the climate crisis. “We don’t want to acknowledge that we’re a relatively small country. I believe we can do more than we’re doing currently, and we need to do it more cleverly.” He’s also interested in helping rural communities with things like healthcare. “Things like making sure ambulances can get to people on time is more important to rural communities than free broadband.”
“We need more services in the north,” said Labour candidate Trish Williams too. “The nearest accident and emergency is in Cramlington, so Labour will be making more hospitals up north.” She also mentioned that the younger generation and older generation both like the party’s politics. “The younger generation like our environmental focus.”
In contrast, Conservative Anne-Marie Trevelyan said that there wasn’t much difference between how the younger and older generation viewed her party. “At eighteen, you come unpolluted to the adult world, and you make decisions based on what changes you want to see and the experiences you’ve had. Those who’ve lived longer have a more realistic view.” Addressing the government’s pledge to become carbon neutral by 2050, she said. “This is what has been interesting for me- figuring out how this works. It’s like watching cogs shifting.”
As someone who’s too young to vote, I found it really interesting to hear the different views of each party, as well as the things all of them seemed to agree on.
The 2019 General Election takes place on 12 December. Your polling station will be named on your polling card.