3rd December 2019
A Hustings event gave a large number of York College students the opportunity to hear from and question several York Central parliamentary candidates. The event helped first-time voters to become more informed about the different political policies and encouraged students to use their vote in the forthcoming General Election.
York Central candidates Fabia Tate (Conservative Party), Rachael Maskell (Labour Party), Tom Franklin (Green Party) and Andrew Dunn (Social Democratic Party) had just two minutes to deliver their party manifesto to the audience, after which students took to the floor asking a range of questions on various issues including: Brexit, the NHS, Education, the National Minimum Wage and the Housing Crisis.
Taylor Wood, A Level Politics student, thought the debate was strong. He was surprised that in his opinion as a Conservative supporter, the party did not step up in the debate. Taylor thought the Socialist Democratic Party put in a strong showing, but did indicate he would continue to support the Conservative party.
A Level Politics student, Abbie Suttill, thought the Hustings gave the candidates a good platform to showcase a variety of political perspectives. Having been on the fence with regards to a preferred party, Abbie was drawn towards the Labour candidate by the end of the event.
Grace Clark thought the debate was interesting, especially how the candidates where able to influence the vote within a short period of time. Grace, who is also studying A Level Politics, started the debate as a Labour supporter and finished with the same support for Labour.
Hayley McQueen, Curriculum Performance Manager at York College, chaired the Hustings. She said: “This was a very good platform for the different political parties to tell students about their policies. The majority of our students are first-time voters and we want to encourage them to vote wisely. Many of our A Level Politics students in particular are passionate about going to the polls, however other students probably needed the chance to hear from their local candidates and become better informed. Our students should now feel more confident about which party they will vote for on 12th December.”