With the General Election looming, attention is turning to the role young voters will play on May 7th. Erewash could be a key constituency.
On May the 7th, the general election will take place. The latest opinion polls are suggesting that once again, it is going to be very close between Labour and Conservatives.
This is echoed locally in Erewash with Labour marginally ahead according to a recent poll by youGov . All political parties are targeting first time voters with the hopes they could swing the vote.
One of the candidates in Erewash, Maggie Throup, has been travelling around the constituency speaking to young people at colleges, scout huts and public houses in order to encourage people in the 18-23 age bracket to vote.
‘Sometimes I think that the 18 year olds are a bit fearful of voting and perhaps don’t know why they should vote or what they are voting for.’
‘The turnout is always higher for the General Election than it is for local elections so if people are going to the ballot box, I’m sure they won’t be voting for one election, they’ll be voting for the local elections as well.’
Clearly, there is some interest from young people in the run up to the elections next month as there is one candidate in the local, council elections who is still a teenager. Understandably, Mrs Throup is pleased to see someone with a strong interest in local politics.
‘What’s really encouraging as well is that I’ve got a young candidate standing in the local elections who will be 18 not long before polling day who’s very keen to start to contribute to his community.’
Despite this, some potential first time voters are feeling like they still aren’t represented in the views and manifestos of the main political parties. 20 year old Dominic Ficken has said that he is not going to vote next month.’ I don’t think that any of them appeal to young people.’
He says that he doesn’t trust them ‘because of how past governments have acted’.
Catherine Atkinson- Labour
Martin Garnett- Liberal Democrats
Ralph Hierons- The Green Party
Phillip Rose- UKIP
Maggie Throup- Conservatives
Voting registration closes on Monday April 20th. For information on how to register visit https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote .