Elections 2021: Teenage Welsh voters’ hopes for historic first vote

Elections 2021: Teenage Welsh voters’ hopes for historic first vote [ad_1]

By BBC Radio 5 stay
Naga Munchetty programme

Young people aged 16 and 17 will have the right to vote for the first time in the Welsh Parliament election in May
picture captionYoung folks aged 16 and 17 may have the suitable to vote for the first time within the Welsh Parliament election in May

Teenagers aged 16 and 17 in Wales have, for the first time, the suitable to vote within the Welsh parliamentary election.

About 70,000 16 and 17-year-olds are eligible to vote however simply days earlier than the registration deadline fewer than 9,000 in six counties had signed up to take action, figures gathered by the Election Reform Society (ERS) advised.

But for the politcally engaged, Thursday 6 May can not come quickly sufficient.

BBC Radio 5 Live has been chatting with a few of these first-timers to search out out what points matter most to them – and the way it feels to make historical past.

‘I’ve been ready to vote since I used to be 11 years outdated’

Selina became interested in politics during the Brexit vote
picture captionSelina grew to become inquisitive about politics through the Brexit vote

Selina, aged 17, from Swansea, thinks the schooling system is outdated and would not encourage younger folks to care about politics.

She says, relatively than educating about Henry VIII, colleges must be “teaching young people about the world they’re growing up in, and how to use their vote”.

She first grew to become inquisitive about politics when she was 11 years outdated after listening to her mother and father speaking about Brexit.

The greatest points for her now are schooling, local weather change and the NHS and he or she’ll be voting for Plaid Cymru as a result of she thinks “they can really do what’s best for Wales”.

“I don’t think Wales has fulfilled its potential because of who is in charge,” she says.

‘I have not made a balanced judgement but’

Eshaan says voting in the Welsh elections is very important to him
picture captionEshaan says voting within the Welsh elections is essential to him

Eshaan, aged 17, from Cardiff, is “leaning” in the direction of Conservatives, however not absolutely determined but.

As a member of the Cardiff Youth Council and a former historical past scholar, he says the vote is essential to him and he has been taking his analysis significantly.

“As a person who did GCSE history, I learned you have to look at a variety of different sources to make a balanced judgement,” he says.

He is contemplating voting Conservative due to their “build back better” pledge.

“I believe that, by voting Conservative, maybe the Welsh Conservatives and the UK Conservative government will have a bit more of a connection and there will be more unison,” he provides.

Climate change issues to him, and he thinks it is weird that Greta Thunberg might handle the UN on the topic at a time when she could not vote on it.

‘I wish to be prime minister at some point’

Cian thinks voting is "a massive responsibility"
picture captionCian thinks voting is “a massive responsibility”

Cian, aged 16, from Merthyr Tydfil, is finding out public providers and needs to at some point be prime minister.

He ran for youth mayor a number of occasions and has been concerned in scholar politics all through college.

Voters in Wales get two ballots – one for an individual to be their constituency Member of the Senedd (MS), and the opposite for their area.

Cian thinks he’ll vote Conservative within the area and Labour regionally.

He says he’s additionally within the Reform UK get together, which needs to finish lockdowns, and the Abolish the Welsh Assembly get together, which needs to return energy to the UK authorities.

“Voting is a massive responsibility,” he provides. “We are the next generation of voters and we now get the opportunity to say what we want.”

He says the important thing points for him are “job opportunities, education and transportation”.

‘Covid has allowed Wales to get on the market’

Hollie thinks the pandemic has helped people realise how much power Wales has as a devolved country
picture captionHollie thinks the pandemic has helped folks realise how a lot energy Wales has as a devolved nation

Hollie, aged 17, from Pontlottyn, is an undecided voter however leaning in the direction of Labour as a result of she thinks the get together’s candidates have interaction extra with younger folks.

“Their policies on education – especially in times of hardship like with Covid now – really stand out to me and they can really make a difference,” she says.

She has additionally been impressed with how Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has dealt with the pandemic.

“The situation with Covid has actually allowed Wales as a country to get themselves out there,” she says.

“A lot of people didn’t know we were a devolved government and didn’t actually know the power that we had to be able to control the country, rather than just following the rules that come from Westminster.”

‘We can have a inexperienced voice on the desk’

Oscar thinks the young person vote will give the Green party a "voice at the table"
picture captionOscar thinks the younger particular person vote will give the Green get together a “voice at the table”

Oscar, aged 18, from Cardiff, is “excited but nervous” about voting for the first time.

“I feel like I might accidentally mess it up,” he says.

He will likely be voting for the Green get together within the regional election.

“Young people coming out in force and voting for the Greens in the regional vote means we can have a Green voice at the table,” he says.

“I do think Wales needs to be putting more concrete policies in place for the climate crisis.”

‘Wherever you are from, this pandemic has hit you’

Anna cares about mental health, education and the environment
picture captionAnna cares about psychological well being, schooling and the atmosphere

Anna, aged 17, is from Cowbridge and will likely be voting for the Liberal Democrats. Her mum can also be a Lib Dem candidate.

Education and the atmosphere are priorities for her, together with psychological well being “because wherever you’re from, this pandemic has hit you”.

She’s voting for the Lib Dems as a result of they’ve “specifically made a manifesto for the youth in Wales”.

She says it is “huge” that individuals her age are in a position to vote, particularly after all the things that is occurred prior to now 12 months.

“Moving forward, it’s all about sticking together now – and taking action which unites rather than divides,” she says.


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