On 6 May, a mock election was held at St Peter’s Upper School as part of the course for AS Level Politics students. It was the three main Parties that were up for the vote: Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrats. Many students turned up to cast their vote, plenty of whom were not yet old enough to get involved in the real thing the next day. More sixth formers than secondary school students voted but still there was a vast turn out of Year 9-11s. Leader of the school’s Labour Party, Bethany Barker told me, “Last election only 44% of 18-24 year olds voted”.
Seeing the turnout at St Peter’s, it seems political apathy amongst the young is disappearing; attitudes towards politics at St Peter’s School were buzzing on mock voting day. I had a conversation with two sixth formers who said, “We believe people who have lived here a long time on foreign passports should be able to vote; that is more important than lowering the voting age to sixteen”.
Congratulations to Bethany Barker and the Labour Party as they won by a landslide vote; however, this result did not reflect the day to come. On 7 May the exit polls clearly showed Conservatives were once again our leaders and by 8 May we knew this was definitely the case. The school’s results were not in line with the real results; our winners were Labour and the Lib Dem votes were significantly higher in the mock election. The Democrats put up a good fight in the mock election, their leader Will Smith told me, “Liberal Democrats have a long history in UK politics. They represent the middle man and the middle man is always left out”.
The School’s Conservative Party also put up a good campaign, as did all Parties. We are under Conservative rule for the next five years. Whether you agree with that or not does not mean you should lose interest in politics; as young people your voice and vote matter.
Student Reporter: Lauren Hodgson, Year 12