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.
The seventh voter we interviewed is Rebecca and she’s planning on voting Lib Dem.
qmunicate: Tell us a bit about yourself!
I’m Rebecca, a twenty-year old white, straight, English woman. My first time voting was in the 2015 local elections. I will be voting Lib Dem, which is also the tactical choice in my constituency, Bretnwood and Ongar, to get the Tories out.
qmunicate: What are the issues that matter the most to you this General Election?
I think the most important issue at the moment is how we approach Brexit, as there will be ramifications for years to come. We need to ensure we leave properly and responsibly. The idea that ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’ is very uncomfortable to me, knowing that thousands of people would be left worse off. As well as this, NHS funding is hugely important to me, as well as the provision of affordable hosuing.
qmunicate: And what issues do you think matter most to your demographic as a whole?
I think social issues have been the big decider for young people this election. Cuts to the health services, especially in areas such as mental health, have been unacceptable to many young voters. As well as this, I think young people who haven’t gone to university are looking for pledges for apprenticeships and affordable housing. Additionally, Labour’s promise to abolish tuition fees has certainly proved very popular.
qmunicate: Why did you choose to vote tactically?
Although this was a happy coincidence that my affiliation was a tactical one, I would have voted tactically in any case to try and send a message to Theresa May and the Conservatives about taking the public for granted – both by calling this election, as well as cuts to services.
qmunicate: Would you describe yourself as ‘politically active’? Was there a catalyst for your political involvement?
Yes! I guess my friends were the biggest influence as we are all political, even writing and performing a play about Rupert Murdoch and the phone hacking scandal in high school drama class. I finally joined the Liberal Democrats in 2014. Their manifesto really spoke to me, and my politics teacher was is Lib Dem councilor helped me get active in the party. It’s in my family, too – my granddad was the chair of the local Lib Dems way back, some of the current members can even remember when I was born.
qmunicate: Has your vote changed over previous elections? If so, what prompted you to change?
I’ve always been a Lib Dem supporter and voted to Remain in the EU. The only thing that’s changed is perhaps my willingness to vote tactically.
qmunicate: Regardless of the party forming the next Government, what do you want to see delivered over these next five years?
I would like for us to get a fair Brexit deal that allows us to prosper and not be held back on the international stage. Especially in areas such as terrorism and climate change, I hope we can join other leaders in implementing robust changes. Domestically, I would hope our NHS is given the respect it deservs and that we have an efficient, well-funded health service. I think I would also like to see a fundamental societal change towards one that is more tolerant of each other, which can hopefully happen through better education and more widespread issue awareness.
qmunicate: Finally: you have thirty seconds to pitch to someone to vote for your party. What do you say to convince them?
This year, voting Liberal Democrat sends a statement like no other – it’s a message to stay in the UK and have a soft Brexit, with the people signing off the deal at the end. The Lib Dems fundamentally believe in a stronger economy and a fairer society. Health policies include raising vital money for the NHS and legalizing and regulating the cannabis market. More than ever we need a society that is open, tolerant and united, and a vote for the Lib Dems is a vote for LGBTQ+ issues in parliament, helping 50,000 refugees, and the only party brave enough to oppose Brexit.