YOUNG voters held their prospective MPs to account yesterday in the first major Eddisbury hustings event of the General Election campaign.
Pat Merrick (Lab), Stephen O’Brien (Con), Bob Thompson (LD) and Charles Dodman (UKIP) were hosted by sixth-form students at Tarporley High School who asked a number of difficult questions.
Issues such as the voting system, funding of rural schools, farming, voting age, exams and school targets and tuition fees were covered with each question delivered by a sixth-form student in front of a packed sports hall.
Addressing the audience, each party candidate shared the belief that young voters would play a vital part in deciding the next Prime Minister and subsequently Eddisbury’s MP.
Labour hopeful Mrs Merrick said: “This is the election of a generation. You may want to see something different but I urge you to think differently. It’s easy to make promises when you are not in government.”
Tory Mr O’Brien said: “You have got the chance to get your voice heard. It might just look like a little cross but that is real power. Your vote really counts.”
Liberal Democrat candidate Mr Thompson said: “The beauty is that there is an edge and an energy because it is a three party election. You should be crying out for your futures.”
UKIP hopeful Mr Dodman concluded: “There are four parties in this election and we are the real opposition. We came second in Europe. You have got to vote.”
Tarporley headteacher Sara Lee thanked her students, the candidates, sixth-form head Jason Lowe and event organiser Tina Everton, and said: “It was really good to see the maturity and attentiveness of the students and I am very happy to see that you will be using your votes.”