The organisers of UEA Mock General Election 2019 hosted a candidate hustings event in the build up to the mock election this week, with the focus of questions revolving around student specific issues.
The Mock Election is being run with the aim to increase student engagement in politics. Candidates are running on manifestos specific to students and young people, with the winner of the election being given the opportunity to present their mandate to local and national politicians.
The project is a collaboration between the Labour Society, the Liberal Democrat Society and the Conservative Society with support from the School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication.
The two-hour long event saw the candidates debate a range of pe-selected questions on topics including the environment, tuition fees and Brexit. The candidates were in unanimous agreement about the need for collaborative work to help address the concerns about provisions for mental health support at UEA. Questions from the audience covered a broad spectrum of issues including foreign policy of national parties and female equality.
The candidates in the Mock Election are: Samuel Bruce (Liberal Democrat), Katie Hicks (Labour) and Thomas Sheppard (Conservative), with polling days on 28 and 29 March.
Dr Toby James, Senior Lecturer at PPL, and the host of the hustings said, ‘many current UEA students were too young to vote at the last general election, and there is no general election formally expected until 2022. The mock general election is therefore a fantastic student initiative to provide a litmus test of where student opinion is, and to encourage students to be more aware of the democratic process.’
The organisers of the Mock Election said, ‘we were delighted that the evening was well-attended and offered an excellent opportunity for student debate. We would like to thank the candidates and audience for taking part. More information is available on our Facebook page and we encourage all students to vote on polling day.’