Forgive the poor attempt at a history pun.
My post is deliberately delayed a little this week so I could cover the hustings held this evening at UEA.
In case you aren’t already aware, Norwich South (the constituency which covers UEA) is predicted to be a four way tie come polling day. The Conservatives, Greens, Lib Dems, and Labour all stand a chance of winning the seat and are therefore all very keen to woo the student vote.
UKIP didn’t attend, ostensibly due to having a prior engagement, but also probably because they are aware that they are very much lacking in support on campus. Why an educated, international body of students wouldn’t like them I can’t say, but they certainly weren’t missed.
The event was well attended with the lecture theatre packed out and people having to stand at the back. The candidates each began with a five minute opening statement, before questions were accepted from the floor with each candidate allowed two minutes to answer. Topics covered included tuition fees (obviously a hot topic in this constituency), the NHS, and employment – rehashing old territory really. Whilst the discussions were interesting I thought it a shame that the candidates rarely touched on specific local initiatives (the Lib Dem candidate and current MP, Simon Wright, did talk about local issues far more, but I imagine he probably had more to talk about having worked as an MP here for the last five years).
As someone who was still unsure of which way they were going to vote, the hustings this evening were a really important factor in my decision. Whilst I think it’s important to vote for a party you support on a national level, it’s also vital to take into consideration what they can do for you at a local level. Unfortunately for me one of the parties who in theory I thought I might vote for had a very uninspiring candidate, however this has made my decision at lot easier.
If similar events are happening in your constituency I would highly recommend you attend, make sure you actually like the MP you’re voting for, not just the party.
This would also seem a pertinent moment to remind everyone that if you want to vote in the General Election, and you should, then you need to be registered by the 20th of April. (https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote)
For those in the Norwich South constituency, here are links to the four major party candidate’s websites:
Simon Wright (Lib Dem) – http://simonwright.org.uk/en/
Clive Lewis (Labour) – http://www.clivelewis.org/
Lesley Grahame (Green) – http://www.lesleygrahame.org.uk/
Lisa Townsend (Conservative) – http://lisatownsend.co.uk/
Norwich South is going to be an important seat come polling day, hence the abominable pun earlier, so every vote counts – literally a handful of votes could swing the seat so make sure your voice is counted.