Labour swing echoed at school

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In what proved to be a reflection of the unexpected results across the country, the Labour party’s votes increased in the Rossett School mock election with the student Labour party winning overall.

A total of 13 candidates from Years 7, 8, 9, and 10 put themselves forward for election, representing either the Conservatives, Labour, the Liberal Democrats or UKIP.

They each gave speeches to their electorate and took part in hustings events, before students from every year group cast their votes. The winning candidates were Sam Gilmartin, Alvie O’Brien, Katie Merckel, Ryan Mosley and Karthik Krishnan, all representing Labour.

The result was a massive swing of 40 per cent for Labour from the result in the mock election at the school in 2015.

PSHCE Coordinator Luke Blackburn, who organised the election, said: “I was really impressed by the way the candidates conducted themselves throughout their campaigns, and by the attitude of all the students in questioning the candidates and casting their votes.

“We can teach them about the political process in lessons, but there is no substitute for getting involved and seeing democracy in action. Many of our students will be old enough to vote in the next General Election, so this experience will encourage them to play an active part.”

The mock election was run with guidance from the Hansard Society, funded by the Government, to encourage the next generation to become involved in politics, either by joining a party and standing as a candidate or by voting.

As well as the speeches, hustings and voting, students took part in activities designed to help them understand the democratic process and the way elections work.

Winning candidate Sam Gilmartin, who represented Labour, said: “It was a very exciting process but also very challenging. I’m really glad I was able to get my point across in the speeches and hustings events, and that my fellow students supported me.

“I enjoyed being part of the election and even if I don’t stand as a candidate in a real election in future, I definitely think this experience has persuaded me to be involved in politics and to make sure I use my vote.”