Labour, the Liberal Democrats and an Independent candidate were stand-out performances at a General Elections hustings at Lincoln College according to some of the students attending today.
Six of the seven candidates sat before a crowd of around a hundred learners for the third hustings of the campaign trail where they made their pitch as to why they should win the December 12 vote. The Brexit Party candidate Reece Wilkes did not attend.
They fielded questions on funding for further education and sports, tackling climate change and mental health issues, making it easier for young people to get into work and whether, if they voted now, they would vote to stay or leave the EU.
Candidates talk sports
Even when a question on funding for sports coaching and education development stumped them, most candidates were praised for valuing sport.
Gemma Bell, who is studying for a sports degree, said: “It was it’s quite clear that some people value sport but they didn’t necessarily know how sport in schools has been funded, which is a bit disappointing.”
However, she praised some candidates’ responses including Independent Rob Bradley, former Lincoln City and now Lincoln United chairman, Labour’s Karen Lee who spoke about how sport was affecting her family and Conservative Karl McCartney’s work as a rugby coach.
She said: “Understanding the importance of sport, it’s nice to know that that’s high upon the agenda locally.”
She said Rob Bradley stood out, praising him for “delivering himself well” and promoting a “People for Politics” methodology that would give the city a voice.
Youth view on Brexit
Hayden Wilcox-Hall was another swayed by Independent and Labour, particularly keeping an eye out for the dreaded B-word.
“The fact that someone asked about Brexit was really good in terms of I didn’t get to vote.
“I hadn’t turned 18 and my family were all Leave, but there was some of my friends who voted Remain, so I wanted almost an independent view, because I couldn’t follow it from the start, I was too young, I was too into the football.
“So the fact that I got to listen to what everyone thought and what everyone’s views were, it was really good.”
He was also impressed by discussions on tackling mental health and suicide issues.
He praised Labour’s Karen Lee for speaking well, but said it was “very much like listening to Jeremy Corbyn… very, very same-y.”
However, he added: “I think it’s good that the fact that we have leaders, local leaders who almost represent the party perfectly, so I think that went really well.”
He said Conservatives had been “shushed” by the other parties.
“I’m just confused as to who to vote for now,” he said.
Swayed to vote
Marketing intern Ruby Cataldo-Moore, who studies at both Nottingham Trent and Lincoln College, said the debate had swayed her into voting.
Praising the candidates for “doing really well,” she said: “I will say it’s made me want to vote now. Before, I didn’t want to vote, and after coming to this I’ve decided that it’s so important though to make a vote.”
Ruby, who asked a question on how further education would be funded said all candidates’ answers were “relevant” but said Labour’s Karen Lee and Liberal Democrats’ Caroline Kenyon had stood out for her.
“They were both talking about things that I feel passionate about,” she said.
The Lincolnite and BBC Radio Lincolnshire will host a live debate will all the candidates on Monday, December 9 at 7pm. More info here.
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