One of the most decisive block of voters in the forthcoming General Election will be those who are experiencing democracy for the first time.
The local candidates from the five main parties, Michael Beckett (Liberal Democrats), Sam Cross (UKIP), Robert Goodwill (Conservatives), David Malone (Greens) and Ian McInnes (Labour), were grilled by the students of Scarborough Sixth Form College on Tuesday.
Many of the packed hall at the Sandybed Lane site will be voting for the first time on May 7 and this was a chance for the candidates to appeal directly to the future of the country.
Tuition fees, immigration, education and a Scarborough cinema were all questions raised of the candidates.
First-time voter Tom Cooper said that he knew beforehand who he was going to put his tick next to and the debate had not changed his mind. He said: “I wanted to hear what the candidates had to say about the EU and also about tuition fees as that is something that will have an impact on me.”
Lauren Hunter, another soon-to-be first-time voter, added: “I came in thinking that I would vote for either Greens or Labour but after hearing what was said I now think it will be the Greens.
“David Malone seemed to be the only one answering the questions directly.
“I was impressed by what he had to say.”
Tom Stockill was another who had an idea who he was going to vote for before the debate.
“I’m still going to vote for who I thought I was.
“I thought this was a good chance to find out more about the candidates as people as you hear a lot from the parties and the leaders but not from the people you will be voting for locally.”