Did anyone tell you there’s an election coming up? Quite soon, in fact. This Thursday! Tell yer pals!
qmunicate spoke to eight student voters from across the political spectrum. Each voter was sent the same set of questions – introducing themselves, explaining what matters to them, and why they think you should vote the same way – in the week running up to the General Election.
Ever wondered what an undecided voter thinks when making their decision? Did you assume that all Yes voters automatically became SNP voters? Think you’ve never met a Scottish Tory?
Disclaimer: the views expressed in these interviews represent the personal views of each individual voter, and do not necessarily represent the views held by [qmunicate magazine] or the Queen Margaret Union. These interviews seek to understand the breadth of political affiliation, rather than endorse any one party or set of ideas.
Our sixth interviewee was Ciaran, and he’s still undecided.
qmunicate: Tell us a bit about yourself!
I’m Ciaran, I’m a 21-year-old Scottish man and my first time voting was in the Scottish independence referendum of 2014, in which I voted Yes. I’m currently undecided on how to vote in this general election, but at the moment, it’s between Labour, SNP and Green. I think the SNP are obviously very likely to win Glasgow North, but Labour’s manifesto is a very different one to what we had in 2015, plus the always-popular [Scottish Greens co-convenor] Patrick Harvie is standing as an MP this time, so a surprise result could be on the cards.
qmunicate: What are the issues that matter the most to you this General Election?
The issues that matter most to me are probably social justice-related ones such as abortion rights in Northern Ireland and homelessness. When I think of what I want changed politically, my mind usually goes straight to the awful numbers of people living and dying on the streets in Glasgow and around the UK. I’m also 100% behind the removal of the Trident nuclear missiles, the end of the UK’s status as one of the world’s biggest arms dealers (and therefore indirect funders of terrorism) and bringing the billions of pounds hidden in offshore accounts back into public services. I feel like as I write this I’m talking myself firmly into a corner marked “Vote Labour, Ciaran”.
qmunicate: And what issues do you think matter to most to your demographic as a whole?
All the ones above, but I’d especially like to see tuition fees abolished UK-wide.
qmunicate: Will you choose to vote tactically?
In such a safe SNP seat there’s probably only one “tactical” vote, and that’s SNP. There’s such little chance of getting a Tory MP in Scotland that tactical voting is more of a reality for English and Welsh voters – touch wood.
qmunicate: Would you describe yourself as ‘politically active’? Was there a catalyst for your political involvement?
Yes, but mostly online. I definitely need to be more politically active in the real world. My transition from political apathy to real engagement definitely happened a few months after the 2014 referendum’s announcement, when I became a solid Yes voter. I remember in 2010 finding out that David Cameron had become Prime Minister on the radio, and being disappointed not because he’s a Tory, but because Gordon Brown was my MP at the time – that’s how disengaged I was.
qmunicate: Has your vote changed over previous elections? If so, what prompted you to change?
My vote hasn’t really changed since becoming engaged. I’ve only ever voted for the SNP (and once Green) in all sorts of elections, and I don’t see myself shifting to the right anytime soon.
qmunicate: Regardless of party forming the next Government, what do you want to see delivered over these next five years?
To ignore the first part of your question, I want to see an independent Scotland within the next five years if the Conservatives win on the 8th, or Corbyn wins but fails to deliver on his promises. I’m still pro-indy, but I’d rather live in the UK under Corbyn’s Labour than in an independent Scotland under the SNP.
qmunicate: Finally: you have thirty seconds to pitch to someone to vote for your party. What do you say to convince them?
I’d probably quote Irvine Welsh: “When you’re not doing so well, vote for a better life for yourself. If you are doing quite nicely, vote for a better life for others.”